2013 Job Training
OAI, Inc., Chicago, IL
EPA Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Grant Program
In 2010, the Office of Brownfields and Land Revitalization (OBLR) led an effort to more closely collaborate with other programs within EPA on workforce development and job training. Program offices now participating in the expanded initiative include the Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery (ORCR), Office of Superfund Remediation and Technology Innovation (OSRTI), Office of Underground Storage Tanks (OUST), Federal Facilities Restoration and Reuse Office (FFRRO), Center for Program Analysis (CPA), Innovation, Partnerships, and Communication Office (IPCO), Office of
Wastewater Management (OWM), Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP), and the Office of Emergency Management (OEM). This initiative was created to develop a job training cooperative agreement opportunity that includes expanded training in other environmental media outside the traditional scope of brownfields hazardous waste remediation. As a result of this effort, the Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Grants Program now allows applicants to deliver other training in the environmental field, in addition to the core traditional brownfields hazardous waste and petroleum training historically provided.
Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training grant funds are provided to nonprofit organizations and other eligible entities to recruit, train, and place predominantly low-income and minority, unemployed and underemployed residents from solid and hazardous waste-impacted communities. Residents learn the skills needed to secure full-time, sustainable employment in the environmental field, including a focus on assessment and cleanup activities. Since 1998, EPA has funded 206 job training grants totaling over $45 million through the Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Grants Program. As of March 2013, approximately 11,473 individuals have completed training, of which approximately 8,198 have obtained employment in the environmental field with an average starting hourly wage of $14.12. This equates to a cumulative placement rate of approximately 71% since the program was created.
Job Training Grant
EPA selected OAI, Inc., for an Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training grant. OAI plans to train 45 students, place 40 graduates in environmental jobs, and track graduates for a minimum of one year. The core training program includes 94-hours of coursework in 40-hour HAZWOPER, 10-hour Occupational Safety and Health Administration construction safety, confined space, lead abatement, mold and asbestos awareness, and leaking underground storage tank corrective action (e.g., site assessment and remediation ) awareness, including procedures for tank removal when necessary to perform corrective action. Additional core coursework is being leveraged by partners, including forklift operator training (16 hours) and comprehensive modules in landscaping/alternative treatment technologies (400 hours), ecological restoration and natural resources (485 hours), and professional development and career advancement (90 hours). A total of five federal and state certifications and one regional certification will be offered. OAI is targeting unemployed and underemployed residents, veterans, dislocated workers, ex-offenders and at-risk young adults from Chicago's West and South Sides, which include HUD designated Empowerment Zones and Renewal Communities. Key partners include the City of Chicago Department of Transportation, Forest Preserve District of Cook County, Signature Staff Resources, WRD Environmental, Safer Foundation, National Able Network, Chicago Urban League, and Literacy Chicago
For further information, including specific grant contacts, additional grant information, brownfields news and events, and publications and links, visit the EPA Brownfields Web site (http://www.epa.gov/brownfields).
EPA Region 5 Brownfields Team
EPA Region 5 Brownfields Web site (http://www.epa.gov/R5Brownfields/)
Grant Recipient: OAI, Inc., Chicago
The information presented in this fact sheet comes from the grant proposal; EPA cannot attest to the accuracy of this information. The cooperative agreement for the grant has not yet been negotiated. Therefore, activities described in this fact sheet are subject to change.