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Green Job Training for Portland: EPA Grant Awarded to Oregon Tradeswomen

Release Date: 01/15/2009
Contact Information: Contact: Laura Caparroso, (206) 553-6378, caparroso.laura@epa.gov; Judy Smith, (503) 326-6994, smith.judy@epa.gov

(Portland, Oregon - January 15, 2009) A Portland nonprofit organization will continue their mission to provide the local workforce with environmental cleanup skills thanks to a $200,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Today, Elin Miller, EPA's Regional Administrator, announced that Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc. (OTI) has been awarded a Brownfields Job Training Grant.

Using the grant funding, OTI will train 120 participants during eight six-week sessions. Students will be recruited locally from low-income, minority, unemployed or underemployed female populations. Trainees will receive Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) certification, as well as a certification of graduation from a state approved pre-apprentice program, and training in specialized knowledge of Brownfields problems and solutions.

"This Brownfields Job Training Grants provides a twofold benefit for the Portland metro area," said EPA’s Miller. “First, this grant helps build a skilled and productive workforce and then those skilled workers make their communities safer by sampling for and removing environmental hazards such as asbestos, chemicals, lead, and mold.”

Following completion of the course, at least 78 trainees will be placed in environmental jobs, and OTI will track their progress for at least two years. OTI has developed partnerships with labor unions that operate apprenticeship programs and with potential employers.

Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc. received one of 13 grants awarded nationally today by EPA. OTI has received previous grants through this program in 2007 and 2004.

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For additional information about the EPA Brownfields Job Training program, visit: http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/job/
For additional information about EPA activities in the Pacific Northwest visit: http://www.epa.gov/region10/

Below is the national announcement attached for your information:

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

$2.6 Million for Brownfields Environmental Job Training


Contact: Latisha Petteway, (202) 564-4355 /
petteway.latisha@epa.gov

(Washington, D.C. – Jan. 15, 2009) Thirteen communities in 12 states will share $2.6 million in job training grants geared toward cleaning up contaminated properties and turning them into productive community assets. EPA’s Brownfields Program is awarding grants of $200,000 each to non-profit organizations, workforce investment boards, and state and local governments. The grants will teach environmental assessment and cleanup job skills to individuals living in areas near brownfields sites in Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, Oregon, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.

“EPA’s Brownfields Program is helping revitalize and restore neighborhoods nationwide,” said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. “These grants will help community members convert contaminated land into sources of public pride.”

Since 1998, EPA has awarded more than $25 million in brownfields job training funds. More than 4,000 people have completed training programs, with more than 3,000 obtaining employment in the environmental fields, earning an average wage of $13.84 per hour. The program is designed to ensure that the economic benefits derived from brownfields redevelopment remain in the affected communities. In 2002, the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act was passed to help states and communities around the country clean up and revitalize brownfields sites.

EPA’s brownfields program encourages redevelopment of America’s estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites. Since the beginning of the program, EPA has awarded more than 1,400 assessment grants totaling approximately $337 million, 240 revolving loan fund grants totaling more than $233 million, and 530 cleanup grants totaling approximately $99 million. EPA’s brownfields assistance has attracted more than $12.7 billion in private investment and helped create more than 53,000 jobs.

Information on January 2009 grant recipients:
http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/09jtgrants/index.htm

Information on brownfields job training grants:
http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/job.htm