EPA and Santa Fe Community College Partner to Provide Environmental Job Training
Nationally EPA awarded $3.3 million in environmental workforce development grants
DALLAS - (March. 18, 2021) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced the selection of Santa Fe Community College. to receive $200,000 in grant funding for environmental job training in northwest N.M. EPA is committed to advancing job training and workforce development. The initiative will help advance economic opportunities and address environmental justice issues in underserved communities.
"EPA's Brownfields job training grants help place workers in good paying jobs that benefit communities through cleanup work and further stimulating economic growth. This funding means more than ever for communities hard-hit by the pandemic," said Acting Regional Administrator David Gray. "Santa Fe Community College is a key partner in bringing these benefits to workers in Tribal communities, veterans, and underserved youth in Rio Arriba County."
"Santa Fe Community College is pleased to be able to work with EPA and our many community partners to offer this important training program that will address environmental justice issues and lead to jobs with family-sustaining wages in the environmental remediation field," said Santa Fe Community College President Dr. Becky Rowley. "The College is fortunate to have a program led by Janet Kerley, one of the country's experts in Brownsfield remediation training."
"I'm pleased to see the Environmental Protection Agency recognize Santa Fe Community College as a training ground for future environmental workforce members," said Senator Martin Heinrich. "As a former AmeriCorps Member who worked primarily in rural New Mexico, I know firsthand the value of conservation work in rural communities. This funding will provide new educational opportunities to underserved communities, and allow more students to consider a career protecting our environment."
"Investing in job training and workforce development is essential for New Mexico's economy to recover and rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic," said Senator Ben Ray Luján. "It's also an opportunity to protect our planet from another public health threat: climate change. I'm pleased by the EPA's decision to award Santa Fe Community College $200,000 in federal funding to help train and empower underserved youth, veterans, and Tribal members to give back to their communities."
"This pandemic has robbed our communities of economic growth and put hardworking New Mexicans out of a job. This grant will provide Santa Fe Community College with the resources needed to fund life-changing workforce programs for our veterans, Tribal communities and underserved youth in Rio Arriba and Santa Fe," said Rep. Teresa Leger Fernández (NM-03). "This program will bring New Mexicans closer to the jobs that we need in our fight for a clean environment. I look forward to seeing the wonderful things our students do and thank the Environmental Protection Agency for their investment in our communities."
Specifically, Santa Fe Community College in northwest N.M., plans to train 58 students in environmental job. The students will receive five state and four federal certifications. The program is targeted to empower the underserved, veterans, Native Americans, and youth from youth from Rio Arriba county, Santa Fe county and Pueblos served by the Eight Northern Indian Pueblos Council. EPA regularly provides funding to organizations that are working to create a skilled workforce in communities where EPA brownfields assessment and cleanup activities are taking place.
Nationally, EPA funded 18 organizations to receive a total of $3.3 million in grants for environmental job training programs across the country. The program is funded through the Agency's Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training (EWDJT) Program. Since 1998, the Agency's EWDJT Program has awarded more than 335 grants. With these grants, 18,541 individuals have been trained and 13,751 have been placed in careers related to land remediation and environmental health and safety, with an average hourly wage of over $14.
For more information on the selected Brownfields EWDJT grant recipients, including past grantees, please visit: https://cfpub.epa.gov/bf_factsheets/index.cfm?grant_type_id=1003&grant_announcement_year=2018
For more information on this, and other types of Brownfields grants, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/environmental-workforce-development-and-job-training-ewdjt-grants
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