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EPA Brownfields Program

In 2010, the Office of Brownfields and Land Revitalization (OBLR) led an effort to more closely collaborate on workforce development and job training with other programs within EPA's Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER), including 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), and the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) to develop a job training cooperative agreement opportunity that includes expanded training in other environmental media outside the traditional scope of just brownfields. As a result of these discussions, the "Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Grants Program," formerly known as the "Brownfields Job Training Grants Program," was formed and now provides grantees the ability to deliver additional hazardous and solid waste training. By expanding the program, communities are provided the flexibility to deliver new types of environmental training based on local labor market demands.

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 under-employed 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. These grants help to create green jobs that reduce environmental contamination and promote sustainability in communities throughout the nation. EPA awarded its first Brownfields Job Training Grants in 1998. To date, more than 5,000 people have obtained environmental employment in the environmental field with an average starting hourly wage of $14.65.

Job Training Grant


EPA has selected the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection for an environmental workforce development and job training grant. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection plans to train 72 students, place all graduates in local jobs, and track graduates for one year. The core training program will consist of three 176-hour cycles, with an additional 18 to 24 hours of supplemental coursework. Courses will include 40-hour HAZWOPER, underground storage tank leak awareness, innovative treatment awareness, solar panel installation, mold and mildew remediation, and solid waste management and cleanup awareness. Primary trainers will be from Camden County College. Students will be recruited from low-income, underemployed, and at-risk residents of Camden. Local institutions that include the Camden Redevelopment Agency and Salvation Army have committed to require the hiring of local certified environmental professionals in all their contracts requiring environmental work. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection will work with these organizations and its community employer partners to place graduates in environmental jobs.

Community Description

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's job training program will serve the City of Camden (population 78,788), the most distressed city in New Jersey. Camden is a federally designated Renewal Community and Empowerment Zone. After a long period of economic disinvestment, it has become a city with high poverty rates and many environmental issues, including a concentration of brownfields and pollution-emitting facilities. Camden's population has decreased significantly from 124,555 in 1950. Its largest employers have either left the city or relocated all their manufacturing jobs. Approximately 87.9 percent of residents are African-American or Hispanic. The city contains several hundred known contaminated sites, including dumps, demolition yards, and abandoned brownfields. In the Waterfront South neighborhood alone, there are 26 contaminated sites, two Superfund sites, and an incinerator. Many land reclamation projects are being designed and implemented in Camden, including many environmental restoration projects that require environmental professionals. Local institutions and universities also have plans to expand, indicating an existing demand for local environmental technicians with the skills of program graduates.


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 2 Brownfields Team
EPA Region 2 Brownfields Web site (https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/brownfields-and-land-revitalization-new-jersey-new-york-puerto-rico-and-us-virgin)

Grant Recipient: New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, NJ

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.

EPA 560-F-11-044
July 2011
United States
Protection Agency
Washington, D.C. 20460
Land and
Management (5105T)

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