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What could EPA do to expand and improve our job training programs, such as the Superfund Job Training Initiative and the Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Program?

2011 May 31

EPA programs such as the Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Program and the Superfund Job Training Initiative train people for careers in the environmental cleanup field. Through these programs, EPA offers grants and technical assistance to communities affected by contaminated land cleanup so that the money associated with the cleanup stays in the surrounding community. Over the years, thousands of people have graduated from EPA-supported programs, with more than 3,500 finding full-time employment in the environmental field.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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5 Responses leave one →
  1. Miles Ballogg of Cardno TBE permalink
    June 1, 2011

    In general I believe that the Job training programs need to be aligned with the potential strong markets for jobs. I believe that the connection between Health Care and Brownfields redevelopment should reinforce the fact the Job Training programs should also be allowed to provide training for Health Care Related fields. Recently the Department of labor reported that 10 out of the 20 fastest growing jobs will be in the health care sector. Therefore, we need to be able to provide job training for areas where there is a strong market. I believe that this will allow residents of underserved communities to be able to get hired in professions that may untimely be able to begin addressing health disparities. I believe that EPA should have the flexibility to provide Job training in that areas where there is demand for workers as well.

  2. Sheri Lupoli of Groundwork Providence permalink
    June 2, 2011

    In Rhode Island, it is proving extremely difficult to place trainees once they complete the Brownfields Remediation Training program. Few employers have responded to outreach efforts, and it is difficult to obtain information about upcoming projects and land purchases, as most are done privately or through unions. I would like to see present and future clean-up grantees and job training grantees work together regularly to create a more solid project-employment infrastructure. This relationship may start as a stipulation in the clean-up RFP which would require the hiring of a certain number of local trainees during the bidding process, and could continue in the form of roundtables for both job training and clean-up grantees to attend together, so that needs may be assessed by both parties, stronger relationships may be established and programs may be fine-tuned to meet more specific and immediate needs.

  3. Kevin Sullivan of CT Department of Environmental Protection permalink
    June 2, 2011

    Compared to site-clean-up, I think there may be more job growth in the areas of recycling and reuse. Recycling and reuse can be profitable and itself a driver of employment and economic recovery. Brownfields clean-up I think is more dependant on economic recovery first before it can be a driver of employment.

  4. John Schweizer of John W. Schweizer, P.E. permalink
    June 23, 2011

    The lead soil cleanup project in West Oakland, that is being managed by Steve Calanog of the EPA’s Region 9 Emergency Response group, is an excellent example of how the EPA can improve training programs. Steve has hired a contractor that is managing the project and is providing field supervision. Workers are being hired from a West Oakland non-profit that provides the 40-hour training.
    This approach solves the problem of having workers all trained up with nowhere to go, saves money, and does wonders for community relations. It is an example of an EPA manager paying far more than lip service to EPA policies and goals.
    I continue to be impressed by the forward thinking and creative solutions put forward by Steve Calanog, On Scene Coordinator.
    John W. Schweizer, P.E.
    TA, AMCO Chemical Superfund Site

  5. John Lee of Green Strategies permalink
    July 7, 2011

    It appears that the previous training has been very focused and area specific. Once the job is done then the work disappears. Training needs to be more broad based so that the training graduates can get other employment within or near their own community with some of the skills they have been trained.

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