Lakewood, WA – The economies of Washington State and Pierce County just got a boost from the EPA. A partnership that involves recruiting, career training, and tracking is a winning formula for success in any economy.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has selected the City of Tacoma for a job training grant. The primary trainer will be Clover Park Technical College. Free training will include 200 participants, placing 150 graduates in environmental jobs and tracking graduates for a year. The training program will consist of eight, 98-hour or 212-hour cycles on four tracks. The fast track will consist of 98 hours of training. Tracks for traditional remediation, green collar and weatherization training will consist of 212 hours. All cycles will include certifications in HAZWOPER, OSHA 10-hour health and safety, first aid/CPR and forklift training.
“The primary focus of what we do is train people for work and this grant will be a major support of that,” said Dr. John Walstrum, President of Clover Park Technical College. “Green jobs are a growing segment in the workforce and with our Environmental Sciences & Technology Program and our 110-acre wetland training site, Clover Park is the right place for students to learn.”
Recruitment will be managed by the Metropolitan Development Council and will focus on disadvantaged residents who bear a greater share of the environmental and economic burden of brownfields. The city will work with the local Employment and Apprenticeship Training Program, Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, and other local employers to place graduates in environmental jobs.
“Pierce County is working to address the impacts of petroleum contamination and other Brownfield sites that urgently need remediation with a trained workforce. The expansion of the Brownfields grant and training partnership is needed to spur economic development and restore our local environment,” said US Congressman Norm Dicks.
The local award is part of a national initiative announced last week by the EPA. Workers across America will have the opportunity to receive job training to help protect human health and the environment. More than $6.8 million provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 will be invested to train workers to clean up “brownfields” sites, which may be contaminated by hazardous chemicals or pollutants, turning these rundown areas to revitalized, productive properties.
About the EPA Brownfields Program:
EPA’s Brownfields Program empowers states, communities and other stakeholders to work together to prevent assess, safely clean up and sustainably reuse brownfields. A brownfield site is real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. On February 17, 2009, President Barack Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The Recovery Act is an unprecedented effort to jumpstart our economy, and create or save millions of jobs. This law provided stimulus funds to the Brownfields Program to award grants to train unemployed or underemployed individuals to evaluate and clean up former industrial and commercial sites. Under this law, EPA will provide financial assistance to eligible applicants through four competitive grant programs: assessment grants, revolving loan fund grants, cleanup grants and job training grants.