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News Releases from Region 02

EPA Provides $200,000 for Green Job Training in Buffalo, New York

Contact Information: 
Tayler Covington (

(New York, N.Y.) Illustrating its strong commitment to improving the environment and investing in the economic health of communities, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today awarded a $200,000 grant to People United for Sustainable Housing, Inc., (PUSH Buffalo) to help fund the organization’s program to train unemployed and underemployed Buffalo residents in environmental jobs. This grant is one of 14 grants, totaling $2.7 million awarded across the country through the EPA’s Brownfields Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training (EWDJT) Program.

“Brownfields job training programs are a win-win for communities impacted by hazardous waste sites,” said U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “These job training programs can touch and change lives by providing valuable and marketable skills that also help protect our environment.”

PUSH Buffalo plans to train 42 students and place at least 35 graduates in environmental jobs. The core training program includes 116 hours of instruction in:

  • 40-hour Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response;
  • roots of success;
  • OSHA 10‐hour construction; and
  • OSHA 16‐hour confined space.

Additional courses include 275 hours of instruction in courses under four special tracks: environmental worker, clean energy, energy efficiency, and green infrastructure. PUSH Buffalo will provide assistance to students to guide them in selecting the appropriate track. Participants who complete the core training will earn eight state or federal certifications.

"Community-based training for work in emerging fields like green construction, solar installation and green infrastructure benefits both individuals who will gain new skills and career opportunities, and communities that are made more resilient,” said PUSH Buffalo Executive Director Aaron Bartley. “We are excited to partner with the EPA on preparing residents for the future."

PUSH Buffalo is a membership-based community organization with a mission to mobilize residents to create strong neighborhoods with quality, affordable housing, expand local hiring opportunities, and advance economic justice in Buffalo. PUSH Buffalo will partner with the following organizations to identify program participants and to place students in green jobs: Savarino Companies LLC; Montante Solar; Solar Liberty; New Buffalo Impact; and Green Top.

For over two decades, EPA’s EWDJT program has helped put people to work by building a skilled workforce across the country. The program awards competitive grants to nonprofit organizations and other eligible entities to recruit, train and place unemployed and underemployed individuals.  Individuals completing the training have often overcome a variety of barriers to employment. Many are from low-income neighborhoods. The training programs also serve dislocated workers who have lost their jobs as a result of manufacturing plant closures, minorities, tribal members, transitioning veterans, ex-offenders and other individuals who may have faced barriers to employment. 

Since 1998, when the EWDJT grant program started, more than 274 grants have been awarded exceeding $57 million. Approximately 16,300 individuals have completed training, and of those, more than 11,900 individuals have been placed in full-time employment earning an average starting wage of over $14 an hour. This equates to a cumulative job placement rate of 73 percent of graduates. 

There are an estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites in America.  Since the beginning of EPA’s Brownfields Program, investments have leveraged more than $22 billion from a variety of public and private sources for cleanup and redevelopment activities. This has resulted in approximately 117,525 jobs nationwide. On average, $16.11 was leveraged for each EPA Brownfields dollar and 8.5 jobs leveraged per $100,000 of EPA brownfields funds expended on assessment, cleanup, and revolving loan fund cooperative agreements. When brownfields are addressed, nearby property values within a one-mile radius can increase 5-15.2% percent according to an independent study.

For more information on EWDJT grantees, including past EWDJT grantees, please visit:

For more information on EPA’s EWDJT program, please visit:

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