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First Brownfields class at halfway mark

<p>Kathleen McKevitt / Special to the Pahrump Valley Times - The first group to participate in a training program funded by federal Brownfields grant money is seen here in a classroom this week at NyE Communities Coalition.</p>

Kathleen McKevitt / Special to the Pahrump Valley Times - The first group to participate in a training program funded by federal Brownfields grant money is seen here in a classroom this week at NyE Communities Coalition.

Twenty-seven Nye County residents, many from Pahrump, are part of the first Brownfields Workforce training as it enters its third week.

Recruiting is already underway for the second of three groups who will go through the six-month training, each earning eight state and federal certificates of completion at graduation.

This week the training included First Aid/CPR/AED and OSHA-10 Construction Certification. In all each group will spend more than 150 hours learning how to safely handle hazardous materials, including asbestos abatement; blood-borne pathogens; First Aid/CPR/AED; Fire Safety; general hazardous material awareness; lead-based paint abatement; hazardous waste operation and emergency response; mine safety; and a number of workforce development workshops.

The training program comes to participants at no cost but has a value of $2,500 per person. Given the number of mines in Nevada using the latest technologies and in need of the kinds of skills the Brownfields training provides, as well as the many new wind and turbine and solar energy operations that are also in need of people with these skills, this training is especially timely and valuable.

Tim Wigchers, Job Developer and Communications Coordinator at NYECC said, “At least 60 people will be training during the three sections. There are still a few openings for group two that will begin in mid-September and several seats available for group three that will begin in January.”

Joe Schneider, from Pahrump, is in the first course. He said, “The training is excellent and very in depth. The instructors are very knowledgeable. Anyone interested in a job relating to safety or environmental will gain employable skills. I would never be able to afford training like this and am grateful I was chosen.”

Robert Lee Miller is also in the first group and said “I’m already learning a lot. The program feels like a college campus and I’m very excited to be here.”

An orientation is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 27 from 9:00-10:30 a.m. on the NyECC Campus, 1020 E. Wilson Road, in Pahrump. Wigchers said, “Anyone interested needs to get to our campus and pick up information and attend the orientation. Training at this level of expertise may never be available again at no cost to participants. There are still about 25 openings.”

The Brownfields Job Development and Training program not only promotes the health and safety of individuals, it also promotes the economic health and well-being of the community. Wigchers said, “When this training is successfully completed participants will also have, in addition to their work skills, added self-esteem, pride, and the ability to support their family.

EPA in partnership with Nye County and NyE Communities Coalition continues to develop long-term plans for fostering workforce development.

For more information or an application contact the NyE Communities Coalition, 1020 E. Wilson Road, Pahrump. 775-727-9970.

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