U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy , on a press call with Joe Carbone, President of the Workplace, Inc. in Bridgeport, Conn., and Jason Wimmer, City of Durham, N.C., announced the selection of 18 grantees for the award of approximately $3.6 million through the Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training (EWDJT) program.
The grants fund training programs in local nonprofit organizations, community colleges, cities, states, tribes, and counties that provide unemployed and under-employed, including veterans, minority, and predominately low income individuals with the comprehensive skills and certifications needed to enter full-time careers in the environmental field. The funding also supports job placement and recruitment activities. These green jobs give hope to individuals to overcome significant barriers to employment and help protect public health and the environment by providing a skilled job force to clean up contamination and build more sustainable futures for local communities.
“A key aspect of the success of the program is the partnership between grantees and the private sector to design curricula based on local markets with an eye toward hiring graduates, which is why there is a 71percent placement rate,” said Gina McCarthy, EPA Administrator. “We link our investment in communities with brownfields to enable residents from lower income communities that surround many of these sites with training opportunities.”
Graduates of the program develop a comprehensive set of skills to secure full-time, sustainable employment in many areas of the environmental field and average an hourly starting wage of $14.00. This has resulted in an excellent cumulative job placement rate. Program graduates obtain employment within their own communities, areas often historically affected by blight, economic disinvestment, and sites contaminated with solid and hazardous wastes. Rather than filling local environmental jobs with professionals outside of these communities, these grants help provide an opportunity for local residents to secure careers that make a visible impact cleaning up their neighborhoods, creating a locally skilled workforce. Graduates obtain employment in fields such as: recycling, brownfields assessment and cleanup, wastewater treatment, stormwater management, emergency response, oil spill cleanup, solar installation, and Superfund site remediation.
The 18 grantees are:
- Hunters Point Family; San Francisco, Calif.
- City of Durham, N.C.
- Memphis Bioworks, Tenn.
- City of Milwaukee, Wis.
- Los Angeles Conservation Corps, Calif.
- Cypress Mandela Training Center; Oakland, Calif.
- St. Nicks Alliance; Brooklyn, N.Y.
- Civic Works; Baltimore, Md.
- Community Development Corporation of Tampa, Fla.
- Limitless Vistas; New Orleans, La.
- City of Camden, Ark.
- Energy Coordinating Agency; Philadelphia, Penn.
- Lewis and Clark County, Mont.
- Alaska Forum
- Northstar Center for Human Development; Hartford, Conn.
- City of Detroit, Mich.
- The Workplace, Inc.; Bridgeport, Conn.
- Mo-Kan Regional Council; St. Joseph, Mo.
Since the EWDJT program’s inception in 1998, the EPA has funded 239 job training grants totaling more than $50 million. More than 12,800 individuals have completed training, and of those, more than 9,100 have secured employment in the environmental field.