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News Releases from Region 02

EPA Provides $200,000 for Green Job Training in Puerto Rico

05/16/2017
Contact Information: 
Tayler Covington (covington.tayler@epa.gov)
212-637-3662

(New York, N.Y.) Illustrating its strong commitment to improving the environment and investing in the economic health of communities, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today awarded a $200,000 grant to the PathStone Corporation to help fund the organization’s program to train unemployed and underemployed residents of the Puerto Rican municipalities of Arecibo, Barceloneta, and Manatí in environmental jobs. This grant is one of 14 grants, totaling $2.7 million awarded across the country through the EPA’s Brownfields Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training (EWDJT) Program.

“Brownfields job training programs are a win-win for communities impacted by hazardous waste sites,” said U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “These job training programs can touch and change lives by providing valuable and marketable skills that also help protect our environment.”

The PathStone Corporation plans to train 55 students and place at least 40 graduates in environmental jobs. The core training program includes 62 hours of instruction in 40‐hour Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response, pesticide safety worker protection standard, and forklift driver training. An additional 122 hours of instruction will be offered in courses on:

  • asbestos remediation;
  • lead abatement;
  • asbestos inspector;
  • heavy motor vehicle with hazmat certification; and
  • OSHA 10‐hour construction safety.

Glorymar Morales Rivera, PathStone Regional Administrator commented, "We are pleased to receive these funds to continue helping and supporting more people who are currently socially and economically disadvantaged. Through these training programs we help them achieve their goals by re-entering the labor market in order to achieve their goals and get ahead with their families "

Participants who complete the training program can earn a total of eight state or federal certifications. The PathStone Corporation will partner with the following organizations to identify program participants and to place students in green jobs: Toledo Engineering LLC; Vanguard Caribe, Inc.; Central Industrial Services; Posada de Amor y Esperanze; Gobierno Municipal de Arecibo; Municipality of Manatí; One Stop Center M‐D; AES International; Universidad Metropolitana;GonzalezPR.net LLC; New Robles Driving School, Inc.; and Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs.

For over two decades, EPA’s EWDJT program has helped put people to work by building a skilled workforce across the country. The program awards competitive grants to nonprofit organizations and other eligible entities to recruit, train and place unemployed and underemployed individuals. Individuals completing the training have often overcome a variety of barriers to employment. Many are from low-income neighborhoods. The training programs also serve dislocated workers who have lost their jobs as a result of manufacturing plant closures, minorities, tribal members, transitioning veterans, ex-offenders and other individuals who may have faced barriers to employment. 

Since 1998, when the EWDJT grant program started, more than 274 grants have been awarded exceeding $57 million. Approximately 16,300 individuals have completed training, and of those, more than 11,900 individuals have been placed in full-time employment earning an average starting wage of over $14 an hour. This equates to a cumulative job placement rate of 73 percent of graduates. 

There are an estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites in America.  Since the beginning of EPA’s Brownfields Program, investments have leveraged more than $22 billion from a variety of public and private sources for cleanup and redevelopment activities. This has resulted in approximately 117,525 jobs nationwide. On average, $16.11 was leveraged for each EPA Brownfields dollar and 8.5 jobs leveraged per $100,000 of EPA brownfields funds expended on assessment, cleanup, and revolving loan fund cooperative agreements. When brownfields are addressed, nearby property values within a one-mile radius can increase 5-15.2% percent according to an independent study.

For more information on EWDJT grantees, including past EWDJT grantees, please visit:

https://cfpub.epa.gov/bf_factsheets/

For more information on EPA’s EWDJT program, please visit: 

https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/environmental-workforce-development-and-job-training-grants

Follow EPA Region 2 on Twitter at http://twitter.com/eparegion2 and visit our Facebook page, http://facebook.com/eparegion2.

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