EPA selects City of Tacoma for $500,000 in Brownfield Environmental Job Training Grants
Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the selection of the city of Tacoma to receive a $500,000 grant for the city's environmental job training program funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The funding is among 29 new grants awarded nationally through EPA’s Brownfields Job Training Program to recruit, train, and place workers for community revitalization and cleanup projects at brownfield sites.
“President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is supercharging EPA’s Brownfields Program, which is transforming blighted sites, protecting public health, and creating economic opportunities in more overburdened communities than ever before,” said EPA Deputy Administrator Janet McCabe. “The investments announced today will not only support the cleanup of some of our nation’s most polluted areas, but they will also equip a new generation of workers to take on the significant environmental challenges that plague overburdened neighborhoods, and jumpstart sustainable, long-term careers in the communities that need these jobs the most.”
“Congratulations to the City of Tacoma on being selected for EPA’s Brownfields Job Training grant funding,” said EPA Region 10 Administrator Casey Sixkiller. “EPA is excited to support their efforts to equip the next generation of environmental stewards with in-demand skills for high-paying, long-term jobs that help make their communities safer, cleaner, and healthier places to live and work.”
EPA’s $500,000 Brownfields Job Training grant will support the City of Tacoma’s successful Local Employment and Apprenticeship Training Program, known as LEAP. With this new round of funding, LEAP will train 140 students and place at least 79 in local environmental jobs. Graduates of LEAP will receive 260 hours of instruction in HAZWOPER, flagger and forklift operator, asbestos and lead paint safety, and up to seven certifications. The training is focused students in brownfields-impacted neighborhoods, including Port of Tacoma, Tacoma Renewal Community, Hilltop Neighborhood, and Salishan/East Tacoma. Partners include Child Care Resources of Pierce County, Clean Harbors, Clover Park Technical College, Conoco Concrete Plumbing, Department of Agriculture, Goodwill of the Olympics and Rainier Region, NOW Environmental, Scot Eckley Landscape and Design, TCB Industrial, Walker Specialty Construction, Washington Brownfields Coalition, Workforce Central and Worksource Pierce.
“I am thrilled and honored that the EPA selected Tacoma to receive one of 29 awards of $500,000 that will support our LEAP program in providing free training for environmentally focused green jobs for the next five years” said City of Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards. “Creating livable, family wage jobs is a priority for our Council, and this grant will help us to achieve that goal and provide a valuable pathway for our historically marginalized residents.”
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will invest more than $1.5 billion over five years through EPA’s highly successful Brownfields Program. The Brownfields Job Training Program also advances EPA’s Justice40 Initiative, which aims to deliver at least 40 percent of the benefits of environmental programs to disadvantaged communities. Individuals completing a job training program funded by the EPA often overcome a variety of barriers to employment and many are from historically underserved neighborhoods or reside in areas that are overburdened by pollution.
Graduates of Brownfields Job Training programs typically earn a variety of certifications to learn valuable and sought-after skillsets, ensuring employment opportunities are not just temporary contractual work, but long-term environmental careers. This includes certifications in lead and asbestos abatement, hazardous waste operations and emergency response, environmental sampling and analysis, and environmental health and safety training.
Brownfields Job Training grants allow nonprofits, local governments, and other organizations to recruit, train, and place unemployed and under-employed residents of areas affected by the presence of brownfield sites. Job training 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.
Since 1998, the EPA has awarded 371 Brownfields Job Training grants. With these grants, more than 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, visit: https://java.epa.gov/acrespub/gfs/.
For more information on Brownfields grants, visit: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/brownfields-job-training-jt-grants.
Learn more about the city of Tacoma’s Local Employment and Apprenticeship Training Program (LEAP) at: www.cityoftacoma.org/local_employment_apprenticeship_training_program.