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News Releases from Region 10

EPA Selects Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc. for $200,000 Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Grant

Brownfields Training Program Provides Local Jobs for Communities in Portland, Oregon

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Judy Smith (

Seattle, WA – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the selection of Oregon Tradeswomen for a $200,000 Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training grant. The grant is one of 14 that will be awarded nationally. 

“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.”

Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc. plans to train 50 students and place at least 40 graduates in environmental jobs.  The core 74-hour training program includes HAZWOPWER, solid waste management, innovative and alternative treatment technologies, environmental justice and brownfields, Portland Harbor Superfund curriculum, OSHA 10-hour safety, building trades training and environmental career planning.  In addition, all students will receive 112 hours of in-kind job readiness and life skills training and elective courses in asbestos abatement and lead renovation, repair and painting. 

Participants completing the training program will earn five state or federal certifications.  Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc. targets low-income women, including single mothers, women of color, and women veterans and women ex-offenders in the Columbia/Willamette Industrial Corridor. 

“This job training grant is an important funding source, one that brings low-income women out of poverty and into the middle class by preparing them for environmental careers,” said Connie Ashbrook, Executive Director of Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc. “It is very rewarding to see low-income residents gain self-sufficiency through job training.

Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc. works in partnership with the City of Portland’s Brownfield Program, Metro, Verde, Work Systems, National Response Corporation, ReBuilding Center, Oregon & Southern Idaho Laborers-Employers Training Trust Fund, Portland Bureau of Transportation and several environmental and community-based organizations.

In 2002, the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act was passed to help revitalize these properties.  Under this law, EPA provides financial assistance to eligible applicants through four competitive grant programs: assessment grants, revolving loan fund grants, cleanup grants and job training grants.  Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training grant funds are provided to nonprofit organizations and other eligible entities to recruit, train and place residents from impacted communities.  To date, EPA has funded 274 job training grants totaling over $57 million through the EWDJT program.  As of May 2017, more than 16,300 individuals have completed training, and of those, almost 12,000 have obtained employment in environmental jobs.

EPA’s Brownfields Program empowers states, communities and other stakeholders to work together to prevent, assess, and safely clean up and sustainably reuse brownfields.  A brownfield site is real property, where reuse may be complicated by the presence of contaminants. 

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

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