Round 2-7b: Job Training and Development
This initiative helps increase opportunities for job training and employment in neighborhoods affected by Superfund sites, particularly in socio-economically disadvantaged communities. EPA has developed interagency partnerships to train and employ community residents through classroom instruction and hands-on work experience.
Although the purpose of the Superfund Program is to clean up the nation's worst hazardous waste sites, citizens face many challenges from environmental problems, and related social stresses, in communities affected by Superfund sites. The Superfund Jobs Training Initiative (SuperJTI) is a response to public demand for more economic benefit, at the local level, from Superfund site cleanups. The Superfund Program is taking a "partnership" approach to find the right resources and providers to enable communities to solve their own problems, and enable the Superfund Program to focus on Superfund.
Implementation of this reform is complete.
EPA will continue to fund the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences' Minority Worker Training Program , establish SuperJTI pilots, and award grants for health and safety programs.
As a result of this reform, EPA:
- Established 7 programs at 11 sites;
- Awarded 20 grants for health and safety training programs;
- Funded the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences' Minority Worker Training Program in FY97; and
- Started pilots at nine Superfund sites through EPA's Superfund Jobs Training Initiative (see Success Stories below).
City of Dallas, TX
In addition to the NIEHS minority training opportunities available to communities impacted by brownfields, EPA is piloting its own brownfields-related minority worker training program. The program offers citizens living in brownfields communities environmental and other related training so that they can find jobs in local cleanup projects.
EPA required that pilot applications be located within or near one of the 121 pre-1998 Brownfields Assessment Pilot communities. A Dallas pilot program was forwarded to Headquarters for consideration and the approved proposal was announced in August 1998. The Texas A&M Extension Center will provide training to 40 students in innovative technology, study skills, life skills, math skills, heavy equipment operation, and HAZMAT training. [FY98 Success]
RSR Smelter Site, Dallas, TX In FY97 at the RSR Smelter site in West Dallas, EPA began working with the City of Dallas, New Start, the West Dallas Neighborhood Development Corporation (WDNDC), and Laborers AGC to provide hazardous materials (HAZMAT) training to community residents. WDNDC and New Start recruited students and worked with the City of Dallas to provide transportation to the training site.
In FY98, the names of the certified students who completed the 80-hour HAZMAT training were sent via the remedial project manager to the selected contractors who will carry out the remedial action for operable unit number 4 (OU4). It is hoped that the students will be selected for employment during the implementation phase of the response action. [FY98 Success]
State Marine Site, Port Arthur, TX
On July 22, 1998, a community meeting was held at the State Marine site to inform residents of future opportunities to participate in the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Minority Worker Training Program. The program will train approximately 20 students in study skills, life skills, math skills, HAZMAT, and other related training. When removal action begins at the site, contractors will be encouraged to hire the trained and certified community residents. [FY98 Success]
Agriculture Street Site, New Orleans, LA
Several SuperJTI training initiatives are ongoing at the Agriculture Street site. Xavier University provided EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers with names of past graduates of the Xavier Minority Workers Training Program. These certified students may be considered for work in the first phase of construction work at the community center. [FY97 Success]
City of Albuquerque, NM
At the AT&SF site in Albuquerque, New Mexico, EPA is working with the United Brotherhood of Carpenters, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), and local representatives to offer SuperJTI classes. [FY97 Success]
NL Taracorp Site, Granite City, IL
EPA Region 5 Superfund staff and NIEHS are working with an Environmental Justice community at the NL Taracorp site. This SuperJTI effort has included sending flyers on SuperJTI along with DePaul University's Minority Worker Training Program application to approximately 1,600 homes. DePaul was scheduled to begin an intensive screening/interviewing process to select approximately 20 people by the end of December 1998, and start training in January. Similar to training held in other Regions, this training includes life skills training followed by the 40-hour OSHA approved health and safety course, as well as lead and asbestos abatement courses. [FY97 Success]
Partnership in Chattanooga, Chattanooga, TN
The Southeast Tennessee Private Industry Council (PIC), the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the Global Environmental Technology Foundation (GETF), and the National Association of Minority Contractors (NAMC) have agreed to partner with EPA on jobs training in Chattanooga. EPA Region 4 and NAMC will augment the PIC/TVA/GETF "Envirojobs" program with hazmat training and collaboration on a jobs fair. This SuperJTI effort for the Tennessee Products site will serve the Alton Park/Piney Woods communities, through the Community Advisory Group, by providing opportunities for job training and enhanced access to community services. This is the first SuperJTI project that does not rely upon NIEHS funding. [FY97 Success]