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Waste Site Cleanup & Reuse in New England

City of New Bedford, MA, New Directions and Bristol Community College

This Brownfields success story was completed before the signing of the 2002 Brownfields Legislation. The Job Training Pilot Program is now called the Job Training Program.

Success in Brownfields Environmental Job Training Pilot Program
(June 27, 2001)

  2001 Graduation

Mayor Fred Kalisz at 2001 Graduation

Waste Water Treatment Facility

Field Trip to Waste Water Treatment Facility

One student had been living in a Veterans shelter for a year. He is now employed as an Environmental Lab Technician at $31,000 a year with benefits. He has returned to New Directions several times to thank the staff for the training and support and to tell them how much it has improved his self-esteem. "This program has turned my life around 180 degrees!"

In 1998, the City of New Bedford Click icon for EPA disclaimer. partnered with New Directions and Bristol Community College and was awarded $200,000 by EPA to develop and implement a Brownfields Environmental Job Training Pilot Program. The Program was implemented over two years. A 17-week Environmental Tech Aide Program was offered twice each year. The training included sampling, analysis, and site remediation through the use of innovative technologies. The Program provided a comprehensive education in both technical expertise as well as professional and life skill development to residents living in communities impacted by brownfields.

New Directions and Bristol Community College worked together to develop the technical curriculum and to provide educators and facilities for the Program. Founded in 1993, New Directions is an administrative entity for the Job Training Partnership Act and Welfare to Work funds for the Greater New Bedford Service Delivery Area. New Directions provides educational, training, and placement services to over 5,000 economically disadvantaged and dislocated workers annually.

In 2001, the City of New Bedford was recognized nationally as a Brownfields Showcase Community. Part of that recognition was of the success of programs in New Bedford like that of the Brownfields Environmental Job Training Pilot Program. Of the 39 participants who completed the Program, 27 were employed at graduation in an environmental technology field, six were working outside the field, and one was continuing on for advanced training. The average starting wage for graduates was $12.36 per hour. Prior to entering the program, many of the participants were unemployed, underemployed, welfare-to-work, or otherwise disadvantaged. Upon completion of the program, participants were employed full-time and earning living wages with full benefits. Many participants will have opportunities through their employers for further education. Some graduates reported the desire and means to earn an Associates or Bachelors degree based on the skills and confidence gained through their experience with New Directions.

EPA Fact Sheet:
Brownfields Showcase Community - New Bedford, MA

EPA Fact Sheet: Brownfields Environmental Job Training Pilot Program - New Bedford, MA

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