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EPA Announces $2 Million in Environmental Job Training Grants

Release Date: 05/16/2003
Contact Information: Alice Kaufman, EPA Community Involvement Office, 617-918-1064

BOSTON - At a news conference today at JFYNetworks in Boston, MA, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Christie Whitman announced $2 million in national funding for Brownfields job training grants to ten programs. The grants are the first to be made under the new Small Business Liability Relief and

Brownfields Revitalization Act. EPA is awarding 10 grants for $200,000 each to provide environmental job training at Brownfields sites. New England will receive four grants totaling $800,000.

Grantees announced today are:
     • JFYNetworks in Boston, MA
     • Coalition for a Better Acre in Lowell, MA
     • WorkPlace Inc of Southwest CT
     • Middlesex Community College in Middletown, CT
     • St. Nicholas Neighborhood Preservation Corporation, Brooklyn, New York
     • Fort Belknap Indian Community, Harlem, MT
     • Office of Workforce Development, Oklahoma City, OK
     • New Jersey Youth Corps, State of New Jersey
     • Los Angeles Community Development, Los Angeles, CA
     • Camden Division of Planning, Camden, NJ

“By training people locally to address their local brownfields, we are not only helping to develop the skills needed to reclaim this land for the community, we are also training the next generation of environmental professionals,” said EPA Administrator Christie Whitman. “The training these grants will make possible is rigorous and challenging. This is a great program – one that builds new partnerships for environmental progress, so that our children and grandchildren can live in a cleaner and healthier America.”

“EPA’s job training grants show that the agency is concerned about the human environment as well as the physical environment,” said Gary Kaplan, executive director of JFYNetWorks. “Training people to work in the environmental industry strengthens families and neighborhoods, because the jobs are steady and well-paying with plenty of opportunity for career advancement. This is the kind of job training our communities need.”

“We are so pleased, and excited to receive this grant. It will continue to support CBA's effort to serve the low income community,” said Diana Quiñones, chair of Coalition for a Better Acre’s Advisory Board. “We are giving people an opportunity to improve the quality of their lives, both in the environmental and economic development area.”

The funds are being used to train individuals in a number of careers in the environmental assessment and cleanup field. Graduates of the programs may be employed as decontamination technicians, radiation safety technicians, or hazardous waste cleanup workers among other professions in the growing envirotech field. Applicants for the Job Training program must be located in or near a community that currently receives, or has received, financial assistance from EPA for Brownfields-related activities.

To date 56 pilots totaling $10.7 million have been awarded, 1366 participants have completed training and 903 have obtained employment in the environmental field earning an average hourly wage of $12.55.

Brownfields are "real property, the expansion, redevelopment, remediation, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant." Since its inception in 1995, the Brownfields program has awarded over 500 grants to assess Brownfields sites and to make loans to conduct cleanups. To date, EPA's Brownfields assistance has leveraged more than $4.6 billion in private investment, helped create more than 20,000 jobs and has resulted in the assessment of more than 4,000 properties. For more information go to: