SUSLA awarded $200,000 from EPA to train citizens
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DALLAS - (Feb. 7, 2020) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Southern University at Shreveport, Louisiana (SUSLA) and the City of Shreveport announced the award of $200,000 for an environmental job training program in northwest Louisiana. The event took place at Southern University's Shreveport campus.
"We are proud to support this project, as it will directly impact veterans in underserved communities by preparing them for environmental careers," said EPA Regional Administrator Ken McQueen. "This training program will help revitalize local communities affected by environmental contamination."
"Southern University at Shreveport is pleased to receive an Environmental Workforce and Job Training Grant to address cleanups and provide specialized training," said Chancellor Rodney Ellis, Ed.D. We have consistently demonstrated a proven track record with this type of training with over 85 percent placement rate of our trainees."
"The announcement of this grant is welcome news for the City of Shreveport. It provides funds for job training that will help us build capacity within disadvantaged communities, as well as equip our veterans with the skills needed to succeed in an environmental career," said Mayor Adrian Perkins. "We are grateful to our partners at the EPA and Southern University at Shreveport."
The school will use the grant to train 60 individuals on how to address environmental hazards in the city.
The project was funded through the agency's Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Program. EPA uses the program to help create a skilled workforce in communities where EPA brownfields assessment and cleanup activities are taking place.
December 2019, EPA nationally announced the award of 5.1 million to 26 organizations across the county for environmental job training programs. Of the programs selected for funding, 31% plan to serve residents of communities experiencing persistent poverty and nearly 70% plan to serve veterans. All 26 selected programs plan to serve communities with census tracts designated as federal Opportunity Zones - an economically-distressed community where new investments, under certain conditions, may be eligible for preferential tax treatment.
Since this program began in 1998, more than 288 grants have been awarded. More than 18,000 individuals have completed training, and of those, more than 13,679 individuals have been placed in full-time employment earning an average starting wage of over $14 an hour. Rather than filling local jobs with contractors from distant cities, EPA created its environmental job training program to 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.
EPA's Job Training Program awards competitive grants to nonprofit organizations and other eligible entities to recruit, train, and place unemployed and underemployed individuals. Individuals completing these training programs have often overcome a variety of barriers to employment. Many are from low-income neighborhoods. The training programs also serves minorities, tribal members, transitioning veterans, dislocated workers who have lost their jobs as a result of manufacturing plant closures, and other individuals who may face barriers to employment.
For more information on the job training grantees, including past grantees, please visit: https://cfpub.epa.gov/bf_factsheets/index.cfm?grant_type_id=1003&grant_announcement_year=2018
For more information on this, and other types of Brownfields grants, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/types-brownfields-grant-funding
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