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News Releases from Region 06

Santa Fe Community College Wins EPA Job Training Grant

05/16/2017
Contact Information: 
Jennah Durant or Joe Hubbard (R6Press@epa.gov)
214 665-2200

DALLAS – (May 12, 2017) Today, EPA announced that Santa Fe Community College was one of 14 organizations selected 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. 

“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 them sustainable careers with livable wages and opportunities for economic advancement.”

“Santa Fe Community College has long led the way in environmental job training programs for Northern New Mexico students and we are honored to receive this valuable funding in order to continue this work,” SFCC President Randy Grissom said. “We continue to promote sustainable and environmental technologies as a driver of economic growth and jobs.”

Santa Fe Community College’s grant of $200,000 will help train 69 students and place at least 51 program graduates in environmental jobs. The training program includes instruction in hazardous waste and solid waste management, health and safety, environmental site assessments and sampling, mold remediation and asbestos awareness, allowing graduates to earn 12 state or federal certifications. Santa Fe Community College plans to focus recruitment on rural Native Americans, veterans, and underserved youth in the Santa Fe area. The college has partnered with Coordinated Vision LLC, Northern New Mexico College, New Mexico Branch of the Association of General Contractors, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Santa Fe YouthWorks, SER Jobs for Progress, New Mexico Workforce Connection, Northern Area Local Workforce Development Board, and Eight Northern Indian Pueblos Council Office of Environmental and Technical Assistance

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

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