The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has selected two New York City organizations to receive funding to operate environmental job training programs for local residents. Funded through the agency’s Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training (EWDJT) Program, Sustainable South Bronx and St. Nicks Alliance will receive a total of approximately $399,931 to help residents learn the skills needed to secure employment in the environmental field.
“Through these Brownfields job training programs, we’re investing in getting Americans back to work and improving local economies and the environment,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt in a statement. “Graduates will acquire the skillset necessary to gain full-time employment in the environmental field and help revitalize their communities.”
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.
“This job training program helps unemployed and underemployed area residents obtain meaningful jobs that will have a lasting impact on their community and help the environment,” said Regional Administrator Pete Lopez in a statement. “EPA is proud to support organizations like Sustainable South Bronx and St. Nicks Alliance, which provide a robust training curriculum to help students get certifications and green jobs.”
Sustainable South Bronx – Bronx, N.Y. – $199,931
Founded in 2001, Sustainable South Bronx addresses economic and environmental issues through a combination of green jobs training, community greening programs and social enterprise. Sustainable South Bronx plans to train 50 unemployed and underemployed residents of South Bronx and place at least 35 graduates in environmental jobs. The core training program includes 107 hours of instruction in hazardous waste and emergency response operations, air leakage control installation, multifamily building operations and asbestos handling. Participants who complete the training will earn three federal certifications and one state certification.
"We are thrilled to partner with the EPA to provide comprehensive green jobs training and career services for low-income New Yorkers,” said Jennifer Mitchell, executive director of The HOPE Program and Sustainable South Bronx, in a statement. “Sustainable South Bronx tackles the interrelated issues of environmental pollution and poverty, and nowhere is that more prevalent than our neighborhood. With support from the EPA, we are excited to offer our students Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response training and connect them with careers in relevant fields."
St. Nicks Alliance – Brooklyn, N.Y. – $200,000
St. Nicks Alliance provides low- and moderate-income people with employment, education, housing and healthcare with an emphasis on building a sustainable community for all people through the arts, environmental advocacy and urban planning. St. Nicks Alliance plans to train 56 students and place at least 45 graduates in environmental jobs. The core training program includes 179 hours of instruction in hazardous waste and emergency response operations, construction health and safety, asbestos handling and confined space work. Participants who complete the training will earn four federal certifications and one state certification. St. Nicks Alliance is targeting the undereducated, unemployed, veterans and public housing residents of Brooklyn.
“St. Nicks Alliance is thrilled to be partnering with the EPA on both continuing our critical programming and developing innovative strategies for workforce development in the 21st century. St. Nicks Alliance has been involved for more than 40 years in growing the capabilities of people and neighborhoods in North Brooklyn,” said Frederick Baker, account manager for Environmental Remediation Training, in a statement. “Our strong relationship with the EPA over the last 15 plus years allows St. Nicks Alliance to continue training unemployed North Brooklyn residents to equip and prepare for a career path in the environmental sector, while remediating local brownfields and keeping New York a city of the future.”
Since the EWDJT program began in 1998, more than 288 grants have been awarded. More than 17,100 individuals have completed training, and of those, more than 12,500 individuals have been placed in full-time employment earning an average starting wage of more than $14 an hour. This equates to a cumulative job placement rate of 73 percent of graduates.