Text Only Skip to content
Skip header navigation.
Skip sub-section linksSTLCC Home » College News » 2009 » August » STLCC Receives Brownfields Job Training Grant from EPA

STLCC Receives Brownfields Job Training Grant from EPA

August 12, 2009

St. Louis Community College recently was awarded a $500,000 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Brownfields Job Training Grant by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Brownfields are abandoned or underutilized sites where actual or perceived environmental contamination is viewed as a barrier to redevelopment.

The grant will enable STLCC, in partnership with Saint Louis University’s Center for Environmental Education and Training, to train unemployed and underemployed residents of local communities impacted by brownfields or other environmental issues.

“This just-in-time training program with hands-on involvement of community-based, labor and business partners will allow the college to connect relevant, accelerated training to real jobs during the economic rebound,” said Zelema Harris, STLCC chancellor.

Harris also noted that the lack of skilled workers and training was cited as one of the largest barriers to expanding employment in the region in the recently released State of St. Louis Workforce Report.

Those who graduate from the training will earn credentials in areas such as lead and asbestos abatement; the Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response Standard and OSHA Construction Safety Standards certificate.

The college will create an advisory board, consisting of local government, community-based organizations and industry to help identify job opportunities for graduates. Regional environmental firms such as Environmental Operations Inc., Geotechnology Inc. and Shannon & Wilson Inc. already have agreed to serve on the advisory board.

“It is clear that our firm and other remediation firms have an increased need for qualified workers going forward,” said Matthew Robinson, president of Environmental Operations Inc.  “Due to all the direct and indirect benefits associated with redeveloping of brownfields sites, St. Louis Community College will train workers to turn contaminated vacant properties into clean and productive ones. We at Environmental Operations look forward to continued work with the training programs and the ability to select for hire a larger and better qualified pool of workers.”