EPA Selects Civic Works Inc. of Baltimore for $200,000 in Brownfields Job Training Grants
PHILADELPHIA (Feb. 8, 2020) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is announcing the selection of Civic Works of Baltimore, Maryland, as one of 19 organizations to receive approximately $200,000 in grants for job training programs across the country. Job training and workforce development are an important part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to advance economic opportunities and address environmental justice issues in underserved communities to build a better America.
“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to build a better America and that means new, good-paying jobs. The Brownfields Job Training grants announced today will prepare over 1,000 individuals for new environmental jobs like those,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “This program will directly impact people’s lives, boosting the environmental workforce while helping to transform communities that need it the most.”
Civic Works’ curricula will focus on brownfields assessment and cleanup training, as well as training in the areas of community involvement and site preparation for sustainability and equitable reuse and development. Civic Works will serve only one target area: Baltimore City, Maryland, a designated Brownfields Showcase Community.
The program will be available to all unemployed and underemployed residents with barriers to employment. Civic Works has developed strong partnerships with organizations throughout Baltimore that have committed to providing support services to participants.
According to Civic Works, 660 participants have graduated from Civic Works job training program since they received their first EPA grant in October 2001. To date, Civic Works has received nine EPA Job Training Grants totaling $1.9 million dollars.
“The Brownfields Job Training program advances EPA’s focus on environmental justice efforts by providing funding for curriculum development to train local unemployed and under-employed people,” said EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Adam Ortiz. “These Brownfields job training opportunities enable companies like Civic Works to take advantage of the jobs created by the assessment and cleanup of brownfield sites in their own communities, by filling local environmental jobs with local people.”
Funded through the Agency’s Brownfields Job Training Program, these grants provide funding to organizations that are working to create a skilled workforce in communities where assessment, cleanup, and preparation of brownfield sites for reuse activities are taking place. Individuals completing a job training program funded by EPA often overcome a variety of barriers to employment. Many of these individuals are from historically under-served neighborhoods and reside in the areas affected by environmental justice issues.
Rather than filling local jobs with contractors from distant cities, these organizations provide training and offer residents of communities historically affected by environmental pollution, economic disinvestment, and brownfields an opportunity to gain the skills and certifications needed to secure local environmental work in their communities. Individuals typically graduate with a variety of certifications that improve their marketability and help ensure that employment opportunities are not just temporary contractual work, but long-term careers. This includes certifications in:
President Biden’s leadership and bipartisan congressional action have delivered the single-largest investment in national brownfields infrastructure ever. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) invests more than $1.5 billion through EPA’s brownfields program. Of that investment, $30 million will be invested into future Brownfields Job Training grants. During the next five years, communities, states, and tribes will have the opportunity to apply for larger grants to include and enhance the environmental curriculum in existing job training programs. This investment will help trained individuals access jobs created through brownfields revitalization activities within their communities. EPA anticipates awarding as many as 50 additional grants to job training entities with BIL funding, beginning in fiscal year 2023. Application guidelines will be available in Spring/Summer 2022.
EPA is also planning a listening session to receive feedback from current and potential grant applicants regarding the BIL and the future of the Brownfields Job Training Grant Program. The listening session is scheduled for February 9, 2022, 12:30-2pm EST. https://usepa.zoomgov.com/j/1604678094
Since this program began in 1998, the Brownfields Job Training Program has awarded more than 352 grants. More than 19,456 individuals have completed training, and of those, more than 14,560 individuals have been placed in full-time employment in careers related to remediation and environmental health and safety. The average starting wage for these individuals is over $14 an hour.
For more information on the selected Brownfields Job Training grant recipients, including past grantees, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/applicants-selected-fy22-brownfields-job-training-grants
For more information on this, and other types of Brownfields grants, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/brownfields-job-training-jt-grants