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News Releases from Region 09

U.S. EPA Awards $1 Million for Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training in California and Nevada

Contact Information: 
Michele Huitric (huitric.michele@epa.gov)

SAN FRANCISCO – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that five projects in California and Nevada will each receive a $200,000 Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training (EWDJT) grant to provide environmental training to unemployed and economically-disadvantaged local residents. In total, 18 grantees were selected nationally to receive approximately $3.5 million in funding.

“EWDJT grants transform lives by providing individuals the opportunity to gain meaningful long-term employment and a livable wage in the growing environmental field,” said Mathy Stanislaus, Assistant Administrator of EPA’s Office of Land and Emergency Management. “Individuals completing training have often overcome a variety of barriers to employment.”

The California and Nevada grantees are as follows:

Cypress Mandela Training Center (Oakland, Calif.) - Cypress Mandela Training Center (CMTC) is a past recipient of EPA’s EWDJT grant program. With this year’s grant, CMTC will offer a 16-week pre-apprenticeship construction training program that includes 8 weeks of environmental training. Students will earn six environmental certifications in hazardous waste management and cleanup. CMTC serves low-income unemployed residents and veterans of East and West Oakland, as well as other communities within Alameda County. CMTC has active partnerships with a number of utilities in need of workers with environmental technician skills.

Future Build (Pittsburg, Calif.) - Future Build, a first time grantee for EWDJT, is planning to expand their existing 16-week pre-apprenticeship construction program to incorporate environmental training in hazardous waste cleanup and management, as well as solar panel installation. The Future Build Environmental Training Program will work in partnership with members of the Northern Waterfront Economic Development Initiative, consisting of Contra Costa County, six waterfront communities, and private sector industrial associations to provide training to low-income individuals, including veterans. The goal of the initiative is to revitalize the industrial waterfront and create high-wage jobs for a variety of skills.

Hunters Point Family (San Francisco, Calif.) - Hunters Point Family will continue their Green Careers program, which serves low-income disadvantaged individuals living in San Francisco’s southeast neighborhoods: Bayview Hunters Point, Potrero Hill and Visitacion Valley. Students will receive certificates in hazardous waste cleanup and management, as well as training in aquaponics farming and wastewater management. 

Los Angeles Conservation Corps (Los Angeles, Calif.) – The Los Angeles Conservation Corps (LACC) will focus their recruitment efforts on low-income individuals, including veterans, in the cities of Watts, Compton and Los Angeles, specifically south Los Angeles.  Approximately 60 participants will receive 258 hours of training in hazardous waste cleanup and management, solar panel installation and lead, asbestos and mold remediation. LACC will work in partnership with various departments at the City of Los Angeles and LA County to support the students.

Nye County (Tonopah, Nev.) - Nye County will provide Pahrump residents with training opportunities to work in environmental fields including work related to hazardous materials handling; identification, assessment, clean up, and remediation of contamination; and health and safety. Nye County will work in partnership with their five neighboring counties, several County departments, the Pahrump Valley Chamber of Commerce, and the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development. Graduates of Nye County’s training program will interview with several firms for employment opportunities.

The programs benefit local residents impacted by brownfield sites in their communities by helping to provide opportunities to secure work and build careers cleaning up these sites. Grantees work in areas historically affected by unemployment, blight, economic disinvestment, and solid and hazardous waste sites. The EWDJT program provides communities the flexibility to deliver training that meets specific labor market demands in fields such as: brownfields assessment and cleanup, waste treatment and stormwater management, emergency response, electronics recycling, solar installation and green remediation.

EWDJT grants are awarded to a broad range of communities with multiple indicators of need, including communities affected by natural disasters or the closure of manufacturing facilities, Economic Development Administration “Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership” designated communities (http://www.eda.gov/challenges/imcp), and Housing and Urban Development/Department of Transportation/EPA “Partnership for Sustainable Communities” designated communities (http://www.sustainablecommunities.gov). Past graduates of the EWDJT program have worked on response and cleanup activities associated with the 2010 BP oil spill along the Gulf Coast, the World Trade Center, and Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Sandy.

Graduates develop a broad set of skills that improves their ability to secure meaningful full-time employment.  Since the inception of the EWDJT grant program in 1998, more than 256 grants have been awarded exceeding $54 million. Approximately 14,700 individuals have completed training, and of those, more than 10,600 individuals have been placed in full-time employment with an average starting hourly wage of $14.34. This equates to a cumulative job placement rate of nearly 72 percent of graduates. 

The additional grantees are:

  • Civic Works, Inc., Baltimore, Md.
  • City of Rochester, Rochester, N.Y.
  • Limitless Vistas, Inc., New Orleans, La.
  • Energy Coordinating Agency, Philadelphia, Pa.
  • Redevelopment Authority of Cumberland County, Carlisle, Pa.
  • Auberle, McKeesport, Pa.
  • Northwest Regional Workforce Investment Board, Waterbury, Conn.
  • City of Tacoma, Tacoma, Wash.
  • City of Glens Falls, Glens Falls, N.Y.
  • City of Springfield, Springfield, Mo.
  • Lawson State Community College, Birmingham, Ala.
  • Alaska Forum, Inc., Anchorage, Alaska
  • Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe, Kingston, Wash.

For more information on EWDJT grantees, including past EWDJT grantees, please visit: https://cfpub.epa.gov/bf_factsheets/

For more information on EPA’s EWDJT program, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/types-brownfields-grant-funding

To learn more about the EWDJT program, visit Assistant Administrator Mathy Stanislaus’ blog at: https://blog.epa.gov/blog/2016/05/developing-green-job-opportunities-in-brownfields-impacted-communities/

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