U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa P. Jackson announced today that the EPA is awarding more than $6.2 million in national environmental workforce development and green job training grants. The money will be awarded to 21 grantees to recruit, train, and place unemployed, predominantly low-income residents in polluted areas.
The 21 governmental entities and non-profit organizations are receiving up to $300,000 each to train individuals in the cleanup of contaminated sites and health and safety, while providing training in other environmental skills, such as recycling center operator training, green building design and energy efficiency.
The investment is expected to have a major impact on the five targeted low-income Atlanta neighborhoods that will benefit from funding and training under the grant program.
“These job training grants are not just helping to create good jobs, they’re helping create good, green jobs that protect the health of local families and residents and prepare communities for continued economic growth,” says EPA Administrator Jackson. “Creating good green jobs proves that we don’t have to choose between cleaning up our air and our water or creating jobs in our communities. We’re showing that it’s possible to do both at the same time.”
Since 1998, EPA has awarded more than $35 million under the Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Program. As of May 2011, more than 6,683 individuals have been trained through the program, and more than 4,400 have been placed in full-time employment in the environmental field with an average starting hourly wage of $14.65.