EPA Deputy Administrator McCabe Joins EPA Region 7 to Present $500K Check to St. Louis Community College for Brownfields Job Training Grant
Funding will provide workforce training for 88 St. Louis area students
LENEXA, KAN. (FEB. 22, 2023) – Today, EPA Deputy Administrator Janet McCabe and EPA Region 7 Administrator Meg McCollister presented a $500,000 ceremonial check to St. Louis Community College (STLCC) for a Brownfields Job Training grant selection. McCabe and McCollister were joined by STLCC Chancellor Jeff L. Pittman, Ph.D.
With this funding, STLCC plans to train 88 students and place at least 63 of them in environmental jobs. STLCC’s job training program includes two certification programs. The Brownfields program provides over 220 hours of instruction in areas such as waste management, health and safety, lead and asbestos abatement, and ecosystem restoration. The Solar Installer program provides over 70 hours of instruction in areas such as climate, environmental justice, and solar installation.
The college is focused on providing training and jobs for residents within the area of St. Louis, Missouri, and East St. Louis, Illinois, who are unemployed, underemployed, veterans, or have justice system involvement.
“St. Louis Community College’s job training program helps provide individuals with the unique skillsets needed to address environmental concerns, protect public health, and create job opportunities right here in St. Louis,” McCabe said. “Our Brownfields Jobs Training grants are a key part of President Biden’s efforts to build a better America and the work we do at EPA to support all communities, especially those who have been overburdened by pollution for far too long.”
“We’re proud to continue our nearly 20-year partnership with St. Louis Community College,” McCollister said. “Their job training program has the power to change lives, with over 370 St. Louisans having obtained sought-after environmental career skills through the years. This Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding is an investment in a skilled workforce that will be prepared and empowered to clean up properties within the greater St. Louis community.”
“We are thrilled to expand our long-standing partnership with the EPA through the Brownfields Job Training grant,” said Phyllis Ellison, associate vice chancellor, St. Louis Community College Workforce Solutions Group. “We are proud to provide such critical environmental education, training, and job placement opportunities for area residents, while also supporting the EPA’s mission of protecting the overall health of the community and the environment.”
This investment is part of the $1.5 million in grants funded through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for environmental job training programs in Missouri.
President Biden’s leadership and bipartisan Congressional action have delivered the single largest investment in U.S. brownfields infrastructure ever through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which invests over $1.5 billion over five years through EPA’s highly successful Brownfields program. This historic investment enables EPA to fund more communities, states, and tribes, and provides the opportunity for grantees to build and enhance the environmental curriculum in job training programs that support job creation and community revitalization.
The Brownfields Jobs Training program also advances President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, which aims to deliver at least 40% of the benefits of certain government programs to disadvantaged communities. Based on data from the Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool, approximately 97% of the communities selected to receive funding as part of EPA’s December 2022 announcement have proposed projects in historically underserved areas.
Individuals completing a job training program funded by EPA often overcome a variety of barriers to employment. Many trainees are from historically underserved neighborhoods or reside in areas that are overburdened by pollution.
Graduates of Brownfields Job Training programs learn valuable, sought-after skills and have the opportunity to earn a variety of certifications, ensuring that employment opportunities result not just in temporary contractual work, but in long-term environmental careers. This includes certifications in:
- Lead and asbestos abatement
- Hazardous waste operations and emergency response
- Mold remediation
- Environmental sampling and analysis
- Other environmental health and safety training
Brownfields Job Training (JT) grants allow nonprofits, local governments, and other organizations to recruit, train, and place unemployed and underemployed residents of areas affected by the presence of brownfield sites. Through the JT program, graduates develop the skills needed to secure full-time, sustainable employment in various aspects of hazardous and solid waste management and within the larger environmental field, including sustainable cleanup and reuse, and chemical safety. These green jobs reduce environmental contamination and build more sustainable futures for communities.
Since 1998, EPA has awarded 371 Brownfields Job Training grants. With these grants, over 20,341 individuals have completed trainings and over 15,168 individuals have been placed in careers related to land remediation and environmental health and safety.
For more information on the selected Brownfields Job Training grant recipients, including past grant recipients, please visit the Brownfields Grant Fact Sheet Search page.
For more information on this and other types of Brownfields program grants, please visit the Brownfields Job Training Grants page.
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