EPA Grants $6.2 Million for Green Job Training

ATLANTA, Georgia, July 12, 2011 (ENS) – Today in Atlanta, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson announced the award of more than $6.2 million in national environmental workforce development and job training grants.

Twenty-one grantees will use the funds to recruit, train, and place unemployed low-income residents in jobs remediating polluted areas.

Jackson was joined by Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed at the press conference where the two officials highlighted the impact the investment will have on five low-income Atlanta neighborhoods that will benefit from funding and training under the grant program.

Job fair in Atlanta with Center for Working Families (Photo courtesy CWF)

“These job training grants are not just helping to create good jobs, they’re helping create good, green jobs that protect the health of local families and residents and prepare communities for continued economic growth. We’re looking to the people and community organizations who know these areas best to find the places where green jobs and environmental protection are going to do the most good,” said Jackson.

“Creating good green jobs proves that we don’t have to choose between cleaning up our air and our water or creating jobs in our communities,” she said. “We’re showing that it’s possible to do both at the same time.”

“Today marks a great day for the city and for the future of workforce development in Atlanta,” said Mayor Reed. “Congratulations to the Center for Working Families on being awarded this grant.”

“The EPA’s focus on developing more green jobs is in lock-step with my administration’s priorities, and will help us to build a green workforce and create sustainable jobs,” said the mayor.

Since 1998, EPA has awarded more than $35 million under the Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Program.

As of May 2011, more than 6,683 individuals have been trained through the program, and more than 4,400 have been placed in full-time employment in the environmental field with an average starting hourly wage of $14.65.

Graduates of the program are equipped with skills and certifications in environmental fields such as lead and asbestos abatement, environmental site sampling, construction and demolition debris recycling, energy auditing and weatherization, as well as solar panel installations and green building techniques.

Twenty-one governmental entities and non-profit organizations in 20 states are receiving up to $300,000 each to train individuals in the cleanup of contaminated sites and in health and safety, while also providing training in other environmental skills, such as recycling center operator training, green building design, energy efficiency, weatherization, solar installation, construction and demolition debris recycling, emergency response, and native plant revegetation.

Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2011. All rights reserved.

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