An official website of the United States government.

News Releases from Region 05

Transforming Lives and Land in Wisconsin through EPA’s Brownfields Job Training Program

Contact Information: 
Joshua Singer (


May 16, 2017

Transforming Lives and Land in Wisconsin through EPA’s Brownfields Job Training Program

CHICAGO – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced a $200,000 brownfield grant to the Great Lakes Community Conservation Corps, Inc. in Racine, Wis., for a program to train unemployed and underemployed local residents for green jobs that reduce environmental contamination and improve communities. This grant is one of 14 nationwide announced today which are funded through the Agency’s Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training (EWDJT) Program. Today’s 14 grants total approximately $2.7 million. 

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

The Great Lakes CCC will use its grant to train 80 students and place at least 64 graduates in environmental jobs. Students will receive 480 hours of instruction in hazardous waste operations, emergency response and other environmental job skills. Those who complete the training program will earn two state and nine federal certifications.

The Great Lakes CCC focuses on Racine veterans, local tribal members, and unemployed or underemployed young adults who are ex-offenders, high school dropouts, or suffer from mental illness, a disability or have a history of substance abuse. Key partners include Gateway Technical College, Racine Vocational Ministry Inc., Human Asset Development Corporation, Riley Construction Company Inc., Symbiont, Ramboll Environ US Corporation, Stantec Consulting Services Inc., City of Racine Department of Public Works, Lee Plumbing Mechanical Contractors Inc., CH2M, Racine County Workforce Solutions, and Racine County Economic Development Corporation.

“This grant allows us to continue to grow and collaborate with employers,” said Chris Litzau, President of the Great Lakes CCC. “It brings an element of hopefulness so our trainees can see a better future.”

For more than two decades, EPA’s EWDJT program has helped put people to work by building a skilled workforce across the country. EPA awards competitive grants to nonprofit organizations and other entities to recruit, train and place unemployed and underemployed individuals. The training programs also serves 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 EWDJT grant program began in 1998, more than 270 grants exceeding $57 million have been awarded. More than 16,000 people have completed training and nearly 12,000—or 73 percent--have been placed in full-time jobs earning an average starting wage of $14 an hour.

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.

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

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