Biden-Harris Administration Announces 14 Organizations to Receive Nearly $7 Million to Recruit and Train Workers for Community Revitalization and Cleanup Projects as Part of Investing in America Agenda
Latest funding for EPA’s Brownfields Job Training Grants is supported by the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and will boost workforce training in underserved and overburdened communities
WASHINGTON (Dec. 8, 2023) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the selection of 14 organizations to receive approximately $7 million in grants for environmental job training programs across the country, as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda. The grants through EPA’s Brownfields Job Training Program will help recruit, train, and place workers for community revitalization and cleanup projects at brownfield sites across the country. This second wave of funding will build on the more than $14 million in Brownfields Job Training Grants the agency funded last year.
“President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is having a powerful, real-world impact on the ground, creating good-paying jobs and revitalizing communities,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “The President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law has supercharged our Brownfields program, enabling EPA to invest in the next generation of environmental workers to take on the much-needed work of cleaning up legacy pollution in communities across America.”
These grants, of up to $500,000 each, will provide funding to organizations that are working to create a skilled workforce in communities where assessment, cleanup, and preparation of brownfield sites for reuse activities are taking place. Awardees include collaborative partnerships of local workforce development boards, community colleges, labor unions, local governments, and more.
Individuals completing a job training program funded by EPA often overcome a variety of barriers to employment and many are from historically underserved neighborhoods or reside in the areas that are affected by environmental justice issues. Many awardees will offer supportive services to participants, like childcare support, to reduce barriers to participation and retention in the program.
High-quality job training and workforce development are an important part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to advance economic opportunities and address environmental justice issues in underserved communities. All of the FY24 Brownfields Job Training Program applications selected have proposed to work in areas that include disadvantaged communities as defined by the Climate & Economic Justice Screening Tool, delivering on President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative which aims to deliver at least 40% of the benefits of certain government investments to underserved and overburdened communities.
Under the Brownfields Job Training Program, individuals typically graduate with a variety of certifications that improve their marketability and help ensure that employment opportunities are not just temporary contractual work, but long-term and high-quality environmental careers. This includes certifications in:
- Lead and asbestos abatement,
- Hazardous waste operations and emergency response,
- Mold remediation,
- Environmental sampling and analysis, and
- Other environmental health and safety training
Today’s selected grant recipients are:
- Santa Fe Community College, Santa Fe, NM
- *Cornerstones of Care, Kansas City, MO
- The Research Foundation of CUNY obo the City College of New York, Harlem, NY
- Great Lakes Community Conservation Corps, Racine, WI
- Kern County Builders Exchange, Kern, CA
- Redevelopment Authority of the County of Cumberland, PA
- The City of Pittsburg, CA
- Workforce Development Board of Herkimer, Madison, and Oneida Counties, Utica, NY
- The City of Texarkana, TX
- *Groundwork Ohio River Valley, Cincinnati, OH
- *Honeybee Strategies, East Baton Rouge, LA
- *Young Adult Development in Action, Inc., dba YouthBuild Louisville, Louisville, KY
- *North Side Industrial Development Company, Pittsburgh, PA
- *E3 Solutions, Inc., Selma, AL
*First-time Brownfields Job Training Program grant recipients.
For more information on the selected Brownfields Job Training Grant recipients, including past Grant recipients, please visit EPA’S Grant Factsheet Tool.
President Biden’s leadership and bipartisan congressional action have delivered the single-largest investment ever made in U.S. brownfields infrastructure. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law invests more than $1.5 billion through EPA’s highly successful Brownfields Program, which is helping more communities than ever before begin to address the economic, social, and environmental challenges caused by the legacy pollution at brownfield sites. Today’s funding for Brownfields Job Training grants comes from this historic investment, which is allowing more communities, states, and Tribes to access larger grants to build and enhance the environmental curriculum in job training programs to support job creation and community revitalization at brownfield sites. Ultimately, this investment will help trained individuals access jobs created through brownfields revitalization activities within their communities.
Since 1998, EPA has announced 414 grants totaling over $100.5 million through Brownfields Job Training Programs. With these grants, more than 21,500 individuals have completed training and over 16,370 individuals have been placed in careers related to land remediation and environmental health and safety. The average starting wage for these individuals is over $15 an hour.
For more information on this, and other types of Brownfields Grants, please visit EPA’s Brownfields webpage.