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Transcript: SuperJTI: Making A Difference In Communities Video

The Superfund Job Training Initiative (SuperJTI): Making a Difference in Communities.

Meaningful community outreach and engagement are integral parts of EPA’s commitment to safe, healthy communities and environmental protection.

SuperJTI was created to provide job training in environmental remediation for citizens living in communities affected by hazardous waste sites. Superfund is the federal government's program to clean up many of these sites.

This video introduces SuperJTI and illustrates the program in action. To date, several hundred trainees nationwide have participated in SuperJTI. SuperJTI places over 80 percent of program graduates into jobs.

SuperJTI is provided through EPA’s Technical Assistance Services for Communities program at no cost to trainees or communities.

Melissa Friedland Interview Part I
EPA’s goal is to help these communities develop job opportunities that will remain long after a Superfund Site has been cleaned up. The Superfund Job Training Initiative is an important part of EPA’s efforts to ensure early and meaningful community engagement at hazardous waste sites like Superfund Sites.

SuperJTI provides participants with marketable skills that enhance their employment prospects and enable them to play active roles in the protection and restoration of their neighborhoods.

The program enables EPA to build long-term relationships with communities, raise awareness of site conditions and cleanup efforts, and provide skilled workers for site cleanups.

Here’s how SuperJTI trainings work:

  • Recommendations for SuperJTI candidate communities can come from EPA staff or from the communities themselves.
  • Once a community is selected, SuperJTI partners with area organizations to develop a training program that best meets local needs.
  • SuperJTI discusses local job needs with area contractors ahead of time to determine the hiring requirements and training components needed to best prepare graduates for entering the work force.
  • SuperJTI then works with contractors to make sure graduates have a job waiting for them when they successfully complete the program.

SuperJTI conducts extensive community outreach and recruitment and trainees are selected based on a rigorous screening process. Training enrollment has ranged from 20 - 42 people per class with class sizes of 10 - 15 anticipated in the future.

The program combines extensive classroom instruction with hands-on training exercises for each participant. Training programs generally last from three to four weeks.  SuperJTI graduates have the technical skills to work on a broad range of construction and cleanup projects.

Upon successful completion of the program, graduates receive assistance with job placement and follow-up services.

Nikita Scott Interview
The highlight of this training experience for me would be the first two weeks of life skills, where you are actually getting to know 41 different people and their life stories. So therefore, you can’t judge someone just by looking at them because everybody has a story behind where they come from.

Graduates of SuperJTI have gone on to work in a variety of positions.

Recent SuperJTI programs have taken place in California, Florida, Oklahoma and South Carolina.

Melissa Friedland Interview Part II
Looking to the future we are very interested in getting the word out about SuperJTI. And we’re looking forward to new opportunities to work with communities across the country. This is a program that really makes a difference for communities and for EPA.

All Americans should have access to a safe, healthy environment. Through SuperJTI and other programs, EPA and its partners are enabling new opportunities for community engagement, environmental progress and environmental protection.    

SuperJTI works with communities nationwide. If you live in or work with a Superfund community where training and education services could make a difference, please contact SuperJTI’s Program Managers.