New Jersey DEP Will Provide Green Job Training Through EPA Brownfields Grant
(New York, N.Y.) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection a $300,000 workforce development and job training grant to help fund DEP's program to recruit, train and place residents of the City of Camden in green jobs assessing and cleaning up brownfields and other contaminated sites.
Brownfields are properties at which moderate contamination can interfere with redevelopment. Walter Mugdan, Emergency Response and Remediation Director of EPA Region 2 joined officials from DEP and the New Jersey State Employment and Training Commission to announce the grant at the former Knox Gelatin site on Erie street in Camden. Former students demonstrated the jobs skills acquired through a similar job training program.
"EPA's green jobs program is helping people acquire in-demand job skills," said Walter Mugdan. "In addition to creating a better trained green workforce, this grant will help create cleaner, healthier communities. The training that the Department of Environmental Protection is providing will lead to living wage jobs and a better environment."
DEP will train 72 students, using trainers from Camden County College. The core training program will consist of three 176-hour cycles, with an additional 18 to 24 hours of supplemental coursework. Courses will include underground storage tank leak awareness, solar panel installation, mold and mildew remediation, and waste management and cleanup awareness. The Department of Environmental Protection will work with local community organizations and its community employer partners to place graduates in environmental jobs, and will track graduates for one year following the completion of training. Both the Camden Redevelopment Agency and the Salvation Army have committed to require the hiring of local certified environmental professionals in all their contracts that require environmental work.
The Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act was passed in 2002, establishing a Brownfields Program that provides funding for brownfields assessments, cleanups, revolving loans and green job training. The program encourages redevelopment of America's estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated sites and promotes job creation.