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EPA Grant Boosts King County Green Job Training Program

Release Date: 04/13/2010
Contact Information: Susan Morales, Brownfield Grants Program, (206) 553-7299, morales.susan@epa.gov, Tony Brown, EPA Public Affairs, (206) 553-1203, brown.anthony@epa.gov

(SEATTLE – April 13, 2010) Thanks to a $200,000 grant from EPA, King County will be able to help put people back to work in jobs that help protect public health and the environment. The King County grant is one of 12 grants and more than $2 million awarded nationally by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under the Brownfields Job Training program.

"This grant will deliver double benefits to King County communities," said Dennis McLerran, EPA’s Regional Administrator in Seattle. “Not only do the grants provide valuable job skills at a critical time, but the people who receive the training will also be able to make their neighborhoods safer by cleaning up environmental hazards.”

King County will train 75 students with the recent grant and expects to place 62 graduates in environmental jobs. Trainees will receive certifications in 40-hour Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response, industrial spill response, lead and asbestos abatement, and Operational Safety and Health Administration construction readiness. Participants also will receive instruction in industrial hygiene, blood borne pathogens, energy auditing, and weatherization. Primary trainers will be instructors at Environmental and Safety Training Institute at South Seattle Community College. The County plans to track the success of its graduates for one year following their training.

King County is targeting their grant to benefit disadvantaged neighborhoods with concentrations on underemployed and unemployed adult residents living near the Duwamish/Tukwila Manufacturing and Industrial Center neighborhood. The Duwamish/Tukwila Manufacturing and Industrial Center has the greatest concentration of Brownfields in the state and has a significant number of low-income residents. Almost 50 percent of residents are minorities. Brownfields are properties where redevelopment may be hampered by possible environmental contamination.

King County will work with county agencies and community-based organizations to place graduates in environmental jobs.

Since 1988, EPA has awarded more than $33 million in Brownfields Job Training funds. The program prepares workers for employment in the new green economy, and ensures that the economic benefits derived from brownfields redevelopment remain in the affected communities.

For additional information about the Brownfields Job Training Grants, visit EPA HQ’s national news release:
http://go.usa.gov/iB9

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