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Environmental Protection Agency: Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training

Deadline: February 3, 2015

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) seeks applicants to deliver environmental workforce development and job training programs that recruit, train, and place local, unemployed and under-employed residents with the skills needed to secure full-time employment in the environmental field, with a focus on solid and hazardous waste remediation, environmental health and safety, and wastewater-related training. The Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training program, formerly known as the “Brownfields Job Training Pogram,” allows applicants to deliver a broader array of training in the environmental field, in addition to the traditional brownfields hazardous waste and petroleum cleanup training historically provided. Through the expanded Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training program, graduates develop wider skill sets that improve their ability to secure full-time, sustainable employment in various aspects of hazardous and solid waste management and within the larger environmental field, including water quality improvement and chemical safety and pesticide prevention. This effort also gives communities more flexibility to provide different types of environmental training based on local labor market assessments and employers’ hiring needs.

A critical part of the EPA’s Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training program is to further environmental justice by ensuring that residents living in communities historically affected by economic disinvestment, health disparities, and environmental contamination, including low-income, minority, and tribal communities, have an opportunity to reap the benefits of revitalization and environmental cleanup in these areas. Through the link to on-the-ground assessment and cleanup activities, Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training grants train unemployed and under-employed residents of communities impacted by a variety of waste facilities, blighted properties, contaminated sites, and other environmental issues, for environmental jobs that contractors may otherwise fill from outside the affected community. Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training grants help residents take advantage of the jobs created by the management, assessment, cleanup, and revitalization of solid and hazardous waste sites, as well as other environmental projects, such as water quality improvement and chemical risk management and pesticide prevention efforts, in their communities. Applicants must target dislocated workers, or those laid off as a result of recent manufacturing plant closures, severely under-employed individuals, or unemployed individuals, including low-income and minority residents of waste-impacted communities, veterans, and those with little to no advanced education.

Applicants will be evaluated on the extent to which they have partnered, and secured hiring commitments, with local contractors and other stakeholders where EPA-funded projects for brownfields, Superfund sites, landfills, oil spill sites, recent disaster areas, wastewater treatment facilities, or EPA-funded state or tribal corrective actions or closures at solid or hazardous waste facilities or landfills are taking place. Applicants should make efforts to link graduates with environmental employment that involves preventing, assessing, managing, and cleaning up contaminated sites or working at facilities in the graduates’ respective communities. Proposed training should be directly linked to ongoing environmental work taking place in the respective community.

Amount: $3,400,000 for up to 17 awards of $200,000 each for a 3-year project period.

Eligibility: General purpose unit of local government; land clearance authority or other quasi-governmental entity; government entity created by the state legislature; regional council; redevelopment agency that is chartered or otherwise sanctioned by the state; Indian tribes; Alaskan Native Regional Corporation, Alaska Native Village Corporation and the Metlakatla Indian Community; and nonprofit organizations.

Link: http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/applicat.htm

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