EPA Region 7 Presents $500K Check to Full Employment Council of KCMO for Brownfields Job Training Grant
Funding will provide workforce training for 60 Kansas Citians
LENEXA, KAN. (FEB. 13, 2023) – Today, EPA Region 7 Administrator Meg McCollister presented a $500,000 ceremonial check to the Full Employment Council (FEC) of Kansas City, Missouri, for a Brownfields Job Training grant selection. McCollister and FEC President and CEO Clyde McQueen were joined by U.S. Representative Emanuel Cleaver II (MO-5) and City of Kansas City, Missouri, Director of Public Works Michael Shaw.
With this funding, FEC plans to train 60 students and place at least 38 of them in environmental jobs. FEC’s training program includes over 230 hours of instruction in areas such as hazardous waste, health and safety, and commercial driver’s licensing with certification in removal and transport of toxic materials. The program is focused on providing training and jobs for Kansas City, Missouri, residents who are unemployed, underemployed, or in low-income brackets.
“The second career chance offered by EPA’s Brownfields Job Training Program can be truly life-changing,” McCollister said. “The Full Employment Council’s program will prepare Kansas Citians to work on environmental cleanups within the city, with salary prospects averaging $20 an hour. We’re proud to deliver half a million dollars in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding to the community through this initiative.”
“The Full Employment Council is extremely pleased to receive this $500,000 grant award from the Environmental Protection Agency,” McQueen said. “This success results from a long-term, system-based partnership with the Kansas City Brownfields Initiative, City of KCMO Public Works Department, and numerous environmental contractors within the KCMO region. Further, this effort will improve urban core neighborhoods negatively impacted by contamination, blight, and pollution from decades of environmental abuse.”
“I am thrilled to see more federal dollars making their way back to Missouri’s Fifth District, with the Full Employment Council of Kansas City selected as stewards of the EPA’s Brownfields Job Training Program grant,” Cleaver said. “This funding opportunity, enabled by President Biden’s historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will not only continue to allow the Full Employment Council to provide critical opportunities to Kansas City workers, but it will also bolster their impact in neighborhoods throughout the urban core. I am proud to have supported the legislation that made this funding possible, and I will continue to work across the aisle to ensure that organizations like the Full Employment Council have the necessary resources to carry out their important mission.”
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 more than $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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