2002 Job Training
City of Gary, IN
EPA Brownfields Initiative
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 January 11, 2002, President George W. Bush signed into law the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act. Under the Brownfields Law, EPA provides financial assistance to eligible applicants through four competitive grant programs: assessment grants, revolving loan fund grants, cleanup grants, and job training grants. Additionally, funding support is provided to state and tribal response programs through a separate mechanism.
Date of Announcement: Dec 2001
Profile: The Pilot will train 160 students as environmental technicians. Students will be recruited from unemployed, underemployed, and other disadvantaged residents in the areas of the Empowerment Zone Development Site and the Airport Development Zone, which contain many brownfields resulting from the decline of the area's steel industry.
EPA has selected the City of Gary for a Brownfields Job Training and Development Demonstration Pilot. The City of Gary also is a recipient of a Brownfields Assessment Pilot. The Job Training Pilot will focus on the Empowerment Zone Development Site (focus of the Gary Empowerment Zone) and the Airport Development Zone (focus of the Brownfields Assessment Pilot). Neighborhoods near these sites are characterized by low-income households, old housing, and vacant buildings. Unemployment in these neighborhoods is 14% and the poverty rate is 25%.
A former industrial center, the City has declined along with the decline of the steel industry. The City contains many abandoned factories and mill sites. Through the efforts of the Empowerment Zone and Brownfields Assessment Pilot, redevelopment activities are now occurring at major sites within the Empowerment Zone, Airport Redevelopment Zone, industrial parks, and other areas throughout the city. Local environmental contractors have expressed interest in hiring residents trained as environmental technicians to participate in new redevelopment opportunities.
The City of Gary plans to train 160 students, achieve a 60% graduation rate, achieve a 70% placement rate among graduates, and support career placement of graduates for one year after the training is completed. Students will be recruited from unemployed, underemployed, and other disadvantaged residents in the areas of the Empowerment Zone Development Site and the Airport Development Zone. The 220-hour Pilot training program will consist of: 1) environmental and technical skills (HAZWOPER, lead abatement, asbestos abatement, introduction to brownfields and environmental justice, confined space, open space, pollution prevention, remediation options, innovative treatment technologies); and 2) construction trades (general construction, OSHA construction safety and health).
The training efforts of the City of Gary will be supported by organizations such as Ivy State Tech College, Northwest Indiana Building Trades/Indiana Plan, Indiana Department of Environmental Management, Indiana University Northwest, Empowerment Zone, Gary Housing Authority, Diversity Consultants, and environmental business partners. Field demonstrations of operating remedial projects will be conducted by environmental business partners. The City of Gary has a first-source hiring ordinance that requires environmental contractors to hire residents from the City.
Activities planned as part of this Pilot include:
- Conducting outreach to recruit unemployed, underemployed, and other disadvantaged residents in the areas of the Empowerment Zone Development Site and the Airport Development Zone;
- Conducting training for entry-level positions as brownfields technicians, including courses in the use of innovative assessment and cleanup technologies; and
- Supporting career placement of students for one year after the job training is completed.
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: City of Gary, IN
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.