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EPA Gives $200,000 Brownfields Grant to Bridgeport for Job Training

Release Date: 12/22/2000
Contact Information: Peyton Fleming, EPA Press Office (617-918-1008)

BOSTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced it is awarding the City of Bridgeport a $200,000 grant so that the city can set up a Brownfields job training program.

Bridgeport was one of two recipients in New England and nine chosen nationally to receive a total of $1.8 million nationally to train residents in site cleanups for future jobs in the environmental field.

The grant is being provided by EPA's Brownfields Program, which helps redevelop brownfields sites – sites that are abandoned or underused because of environmental contamination. The Brownfields Job Training and Development Demonstration Pilot program, which is providing today's grant, is designed to ensure that residents of communities affected by brownfields also share in the benefits of their restoration and redevelopment.

The grant will go to the WorkPlace Inc, which will use the funds to train 45 residents of inner-city neighborhoods impacted by brownfields within the city. Participants will be recruited from unemployed and underemployed residents, and high school seniors who have participated in the environmental education program, and who reside in the inner-city neighborhoods impacted by brownfields within Bridgeport's federal Enterprise Community. In the eight-week program, the residents will be trained as environmental technicians who can work on site assessments, cleanups and other environmental activities. WorkPlace Inc. will also provide career placement for participants.

"This job training grant will open the door for more Bridgeport residents to take advantage of jobs created by assessments and cleanups of Brownfields sites," said Mindy S. Lubber, regional administrator of EPA's New England Office. "This grant will help ensure that Brownfield projects in Bridgeport have the trained personnel they need and that local residents have an opportunity to compete for these jobs."

The loss of much of Bridgeport's manufacturing base has resulted in job loss, property deterioration, and economic distress, as well as more than 200 abandoned and contaminated properties. Environmental employer demand for brownfields technicians is very high and is expected to increase.