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News Releases

News Releases from Region 04

EPA Selects Florida State College at Jacksonville, Fla. for Job Training Grant

Transforming Lives and Land Across the Country through EPA’s Brownfields Job Training Program

05/16/2017
Contact Information: 
Dawn Harris-Young (harris-young.dawn@epa.gov)
(404) 562-8421 (Direct), (404) 562-8400 (Main)

ATLANTA – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that Florida State College at Jacksonville, Fla. is one of 14 organizations to receive funding to operate environmental job training programs for local unemployed residents. Funded through the Agency’s Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training (EWDJT) Program, the organizations will receive a total of approximately $2.7 million to help residents learn the skills needed to secure employment in the environmental field. These grants help prepare people for green jobs that reduce environmental contamination and provide more sustainable futures for the communities most affected by solid and hazardous waste contamination. 

Florida State College at Jacksonville plans to train 60 students and place at least 45 graduates in environmental jobs. The core training program includes 273 hours of instruction in: 40-hour HAZWOPER; OSHA courses in laboratory standards, disaster site worker, oil spills supervisor, construction safety, general industry, confined space entry, and bloodborne pathogens; environmental justice awareness; EPA 24-hour hazardous material technician; medical waste collection and hazards; environmental sampling and analysis; environmental math and chemical safety; Florida storm water, erosion, sedimentation control inspector; FEMA National Incident Management System; first aid, CPR, and AED; mold and asbestos worker; EPA lead renovator; and IPM/pest worker standards and worker safety. Participants who complete the training program can earn a total of 21 state or federal certifications. Florida State College at Jacksonville is targeting unemployed and underemployed residents in Jacksonville’s urban core.

“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.”

U.S. Rep. John Rutherford,  R-FL,  said, “Through the Brownfield program, dozens of Northeast Florida residents will have the opportunity to learn the skills necessary to reinvent these sites while gaining real-world work experience. These program transformations will positively impact the Jacksonville community, and will increase investments in our city.”

Today’s grantees include:

  • The Fortune Society, Inc., New York City, New York
  • Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc., Portland, Oregon
  • Santa Fe Community College, Santa Fe, New Mexico
  • Florida State College, Jacksonville, Florida
  • People United for Sustainable Housing, Inc., Buffalo, New York
  • PathStone Corporation, Arecibo, Barceloneta and Manati, Puerto Rico
  • Zender Environmental Health and Research Group, Anchorage, Alaska
  • Great Lakes Community Conservation Corps., Racine, Wisconsin
  • OAI, Inc., Chicago, Illinois
  • Salish Kootenai College, Inc., Flathead Indian Reservation, Montana
  • Merrimack Valley Workforce Investment Board, Lawrence, Massachusetts
  • St. Louis Community College, St. Louis County, Missouri
  • City of Richmond, Richmond, California
  • Earth Conservancy, Ashley, Pennsylvania

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. 

“It is an honor to be awarded the Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Grant from the United States Environmental Protection Agency," said Florida State College at Jacksonville President Dr. Cynthia Bioteau. "This important program will prepare participants for a wide-range of environmental employment opportunities in Jacksonville, Florida and also supports vital collaboration with Northeast Florida employers who seek qualified workers."

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

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