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Pathways-VA to receive $300,000 EPA brownfields training grant

Release Date: 07/12/2011
Contact Information: Roy Seneca seneca.roy@epa.gov (215) 814-5567

PHILADELPHIA (July 12, 2011) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced that Pathways-VA in eastern Virginia will receive a $300,000 Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Grant to help train low-income residents for environmental jobs in Petersburg, Va.

Pathways-VA, a non-profit organization, will use the funding to train 64 students for entry-level environmental jobs helping to clean up abandoned and contaminated properties in Petersburg.

"EPA’s brownfields training grants demonstrate how creating jobs and protecting the environment can go hand-in-hand,” said Shawn M. Garvin, administrator for EPA’s mid-Atlantic region. “This funding will help ensure that brownfields cleanup projects in Petersburg have the trained workforce needed to revitalize contaminated properties and provide new job opportunities for community members."

Students will be recruited from unemployed and underemployed residents, and veterans transitioning from the military, including the Fort Lee Army Base.

Since 1998, EPA has awarded more than $35 million under the Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Program. As of May 2011, more than 6,683 individuals have been trained through the program, and more than 4,400 have been placed in full-time employment in the environmental field with an average starting hourly wage of $14.65. The development of this green workforce will allow the trainees to develop skills that will make them competitive in the construction and redevelopment fields.

The EPA grant in Petersburg is one of 21 national grants announced today. EPA’s brownfields program encourages redevelopment of America’s estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites. For more information on environmental workforce development and job training grants, visit: http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/job.htm .