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News Releases from Region 02

EPA Selects Essex County, NJ for Job Training Funding

Contact Information: 
Tayler Covington (

(New York, N.Y.) Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) selected the Essex County Division of Training and Employment in East Orange, NJ to receive funding to operate environmental job training programs for local residents. Funded through the agency’s Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training (EWDJT) Program, they will receive $200,000 to help residents learn the skills needed to secure employment in the environmental field. This grant helps prepare people for green jobs that reduce environmental contamination and provide more sustainable futures for the communities most affected by solid and hazardous waste contamination.

“Through these Brownfields job training programs, we’re investing in getting Americans back to work and improving local economies and the environment,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “Graduates will acquire the skill set necessary to gain full-time employment in the environmental field and help revitalize their communities.” 

“This job training program helps unemployed and underemployed area residents obtain meaningful jobs that will have a lasting impact on their community and help the environment,” said Regional Administrator Pete Lopez. “EPA is proud to support organizations like the Essex County Division of Training and Employment, which provides a robust training curriculum to help students get certifications and green jobs.”

The Essex County Division of Training and Employment plans to train 50 unemployed and underemployed, low-income residents of Essex County and place at least 37 graduates in environmental jobs. The core training program includes 140 hours of training in hazardous waste and emergency response operations, construction health and safety, confined space work, disaster response, and first aid. Participants who complete the training will earn six federal certifications.


“We are pleased to be partnering with the US EPA, NJ DEP, the Central Valley Brownfield Development, and local employers and agencies to provide this valuable training about brownfields redevelopment,” said Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. “Breathing new life into unusable contaminated sites is crucial to the future success and stabilization of our neighborhoods. This training will help prepare participants for careers associated with brownfields redevelopment and, more importantly, provide them with an opportunity to make an impact on their own community.”

Since the EWDJT program began in 1998, more than 288 grants have been awarded. Over 17,100 individuals have completed training, and of those, more than 12,500 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.


The EWDJT program helps to build 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 these training programs 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, and other individuals who may have faced barriers to employment.

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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