St. Louis Community College is among 14 select organizations across the country receiving a total of approximately $2.7 million through the Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training (EWDJT) program.
Each organization will receive funds to help residents learn the skills needed to secure employment in the environmental field. 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.
STLCC’s $200,000 EWDJT grant will support a core training program that includes 222 hours of instruction in 40-hour HAZWOPER training, 10-hour OSHA construction safety training, first aid/CPR training, environmental sampling and monitoring, mold remediation, lead and asbestos abatement work, storm water management, ecosystem restoration, and additional OSHA fall protection, excavation and trenching, and permit required confined spaces training. Participants who complete the training program will earn two state and 16 federal certifications to perform environmental work.
“Brownfields job training programs are a win-win for communities impacted by hazardous waste sites,” said Scott Pruitt, U.S. EPA administrator. “These job training programs can touch and change lives by providing valuable and marketable skills that also help protect our environment.”
“I’m glad to see the EPA recognize the great work that St. Louis Community College is doing to recruit and train students for good-paying jobs,” said U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO). “STLCC has a strong record of placing program graduates in high-demand fields, and these additional resources will give more students the skills they need to secure their future and improve their communities.”
Key partners in STLCC’s training efforts include the St. Louis Workforce Development Board, St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment, St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, Laborers’ International Union of North America Local 110, HRP Associates Inc., Spray Services, Aerotek, St. Louis YouthBuild/AmeriCorps, and Fathers’ Support Center St. Louis.
For more than two decades, EPA’s EWDJT program has helped put people to work by building a skilled workforce across the country. The program awards competitive grants to nonprofit organizations and other eligible entities to recruit, train and place unemployed and underemployed individuals. Individuals completing the training have often overcome a variety of barriers to employment. Many are from low-income neighborhoods. The training programs also serve dislocated workers who have lost their jobs as a result of manufacturing plant closures, as well as minorities, tribal members, transitioning veterans, ex-offenders and other individuals who may have faced barriers to employment.
Since 1998, when the EWDJT grant program started, more than 274 grants have been awarded, exceeding $57 million. Approximately 16,300 individuals have completed training, and of those, more than 11,900 individuals have been placed in full-time employment earning an average starting wage of over $14 an hour. This equates to a cumulative job placement rate of 73 percent of graduates.
There are an estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites in America. Since the beginning of EPA’s Brownfields program, investments have leveraged more than $22 billion from a variety of public and private sources for cleanup and redevelopment activities. This has resulted in approximately 117,525 jobs nationwide.
On average, $16.11 was leveraged for each EPA brownfields dollar and 8.5 jobs leveraged per $100,000 of EPA brownfields funds expended on assessment, cleanup, and revolving loan fund cooperative agreements. When brownfields are addressed, nearby property values within a one-mile radius can increase 5-15.2 percent according to an independent study.