St. Louis Community College has been selected to receive a $192,300 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to recruit, train and place local unemployed and underemployed individuals in full-time sustainable green jobs in a range of environmental fields.
The grant comes from the EPA’s Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training (EWDJT) program.
Announcement of the grant was made today by Mathy Stanislaus, EPA assistant administrator in the agency’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, during his remarks to the most recent group of 10 new graduates from STLCC’s Environmental Remediation Job Training program.
This is the fifth time STLCC has received funding from the EPA grant program since 2000. Since receiving its first grant, STLCC has successfully trained 310 program graduates, more than 75 percent of whom have been placed in the local job market in specialized “in-demand” positions, such as Superfund site cleanup, ecological restoration, and lead and asbestos abatement at brownfields remediation projects. Their average hourly wage is $15.70.
The EPA grant to STLCC for fiscal year 2015 will allow the college to recruit and train another 69 students through its program, with a goal of placing at least 55 graduates in full-time green jobs.
Speaking today to the latest group of program graduates, their families and special guests, Stanislaus commended their academic success while crediting strong support to STLCC’s program from partners throughout the greater St. Louis community. That support comes from non-profit groups, labor organizations, local governments and private sector employers.
“At EPA, we review our grant applicants and make our project funding decisions based on three general principles,” Stanislaus said. “We consider the likelihood that graduates will obtain employment, and we also support projects backed by strong public-private partnerships, and projects with diverse community-based organization and employer involvement. I am pleased to say that St. Louis enjoys an overarching level of success in all three of these criteria. Together as partners, you do so much to support job opportunity and community revitalization.”
This session’s graduates were Cory Chandler, Prince Farris-Settles, Michael Harris, Matt Hermeyer, Sean Kempf, Alvin Love, Sean Marks, Paul Oryem, Stacey Robinson and Joel Smith.
Graduates of the STLCC program complete a six-week course in which they receive 224 hours of core training in a broad spectrum of environmental job skills, ranging from hazardous waste remediation to construction safety to stormwater management. Students earn a total of 19 federal, state or college-level certifications that help them qualify for employment in a variety of environmental fields.
Since EPA launched the EWDJT grant program in 1998, it has funded 256 grants totaling more than $54 million. Nationwide, more than 13,800 individuals have completed training, and of those, more than 10,000 have secured employment in environmental fields. The program targets its training and job placement assistance for low-income unemployed and underemployed individuals in rural and urban communities with areas historically affected by blight, economic disinvestment, and solid and hazardous waste sites.
The EWDJT program is one of EPA’s premier community-based grant programs that highlight the agency’s commitment to advancing environmental justice.