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News Releases from Region 10

EPA, City of Tacoma, Clover Park Technical College, and Goodwill partner for environmental training, jobs and careers in Pierce County

Contact Information: 
Bill Dunbar (
(206) 553-1019

(Seattle) The Environmental Protection Agency, the City of Tacoma, Clover Park Technical College, and Goodwill are providing grant-funded training opportunities in 2017 to help the unemployed, underemployed, and transitioning servicemen and veterans in Pierce County into quality environmental careers.

A $200,000 EPA Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Grant (formerly Brownfields Grant) is funding recruiting, entry level training, career counseling and job placement services that are a gateway to careers in construction, contamination remediation, hazardous material handling, and more.  Environmental careers start at $14/hr and can reach senior management positions paying more than $65/hr.

MEDIA:    12:30 – 2 p.m. Feb. 24, 2016 / Clover Park Technical College Bldg. 16, 4500 Steilacoom Blvd SW, Lakewood, WA – current Environmental Program students at Clover Park will conduct Hazmat station training (5 stations featuring different challenges) as part of their HAZWOPER training and certification (in-suit activity is pictured in this release).  TCB Industrial, an employer of program graduates, will be onsite to talk about the industry and career potential.

The program is targeting Tacoma or Pierce County residents 18 and older.  The Washington Department of Ecology’s August 2015 Hazardous Sites List identifies 141 sites in the City of Tacoma either pending or in the process of cleanup while 54 more are across the rest of Pierce County. Even though Tacoma has only 25% of the population of Pierce County, it has 72% of the hazardous sites – more than 2.5 times the rest of the county. The need for environmental cleanup in Pierce and nearby counties will offer businesses like TCB project opportunities requiring a labor and management force of Hazmat certified employees through 2026.

Goodwill uses its network of education campuses and case managers to recruit, career counsel and help students with job placement, Clover Park Technical College performs the training, the City of Tacoma manages the partnership and grant administration, and the EPA provides grant resources and funding.  Private businesses like TCB Industrial recruit students based upon their specific interest areas.

“Brownfields job training programs are a win-win for communities like Tacoma and others impacted by hazardous waste sites.  They provide unemployed and underemployed citizens and transitioning servicemen and veterans with valuable technical skills that enable them to get good jobs in their communities,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. 

“EPA is proud to partner with the City, Clover Park Technical College and Goodwill to provide a gateway to careers in construction and site cleanup and bring much needed environmental improvements to Tacoma and Pierce County,” he added.

Each of these training opportunities is highly valued and include approximately $1,500 in certifications in HAZWOPER, Underground Storage Tank, OSHA 10 Construction Safety, Confined Space Entry, Forklift, and Asbestos.

The six week training will be offered in 2017 at Clover Park Technical College – the next session running from April 21 – June 16 / Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  Ahead of the April 21 training program, a mandatory two-hour course orientation session will be hosted at Goodwill’s main Tacoma campus on either March 13 or April 4th at 1 p.m. (Milgard Work Opportunity Center, 714 S. 27th Street, Tacoma 98409). 

For more information and to register, sign up for an Orientation Session

(sign up for one)

EPA and City of Tacoma grant history:  From 2000 through 2016, the City of Tacoma’s Local Employment & Apprenticeship training Program (LEAP) Office has received and successfully managed seven EPA Environmental and Workforce Development & Job Training Grants. In 2007, the partnership of the City of Tacoma, Clover Park Technical College, and former partners received the Governor’s Award for Best Practice for the “Brownfields Job Training Partnership”.  For the 2016 award, the City of Tacoma partnered with Clover Park Technical College for training Goodwill for outreach and recruitment.  The City of Tacoma has also contracted with Tacoma Pierce County Health Department for support services for the trainees and their families.

Photo of students cleaning out a storage drum         Photo of Students in Protective Gear 

About Goodwill of the Olympics & Rainier Region:  Getting America Back to Work…

Goodwill provides free innovative career training/education and job placement to connect Americans with a higher quality of life.  As a unique nonprofit business serving 15 counties, our thrift shop revenue and public donations fuel programs that help people with limited income, disabilities and disadvantages overcome barriers to employment.  This year Goodwill of the Olympics and Rainier Region will help 10,000 people with education, job training and placement so they can become independent self-supporting citizens.  Of these, more than 3,000 people will be offered jobs including office, culinary, construction, barista, catering, retail, custodial, warehouse, transportation and logistics careers thanks to partnerships with 1,200 companies across Washington.  These services are funded through generous financial gifts, grants, fees, commercial services and the operation of 38 thrift stores (including our online store) throughout our western, southwest and central Washington operations.