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EPA awards Nye County with $200k job training grant

The Environmental Protection Agency has awarded a sizable amount to go toward job training that will benefit the county.

The EPA awarded $1 million to five projects in Nevada and California through the Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training grant to give environmental training to unemployed and economically disadvantaged residents.

Nye County received $200,000, which will go toward providing Pahrump residents with training opportunities to work in environmental fields, including work related to hazardous materials handling identification, assessment, cleanup, remediation of contamination; and health and safety.

“EWDJT grants transform lives by providing individuals the opportunity to gain meaningful long-term employment and a livable wage in the growing environmental field,” said Mathy Stanislaus, Assistant Administrator of EPA’s Office of Land and Emergency Management. “Individuals completing training have often overcome a variety of barriers to employment.”

Nye County plans to train 68 students and place at least 54 graduates in environmental jobs.

The core training program includes 154 hours of instruction in 40-hour HAZWOPER, environmental health and safety training, lead-based paint abatement, asbestos abatement, confined space entry, CPR/First Aid/AED, environmental technician and fire safety. Participants who complete the training will earn seven state or federal certifications.

Those who graduate the training program in the county will interview with several firms for employment opportunities.

The programs benefit local residents impacted by brownfield sites in their communities by helping to provide opportunities to secure work and build careers cleaning up these sites. Grantees work in areas where there’s chronicled unemployment, blight, economic divesture and solid and hazardous waste sites.

Nye County will partner with departments in the county, the Pahrump Valley Chamber of Commerce, NyE Communities Coalition, US Ecology Nevada, Great Basin College, and the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development, among others, as well as neighboring counties on the training program.

The EWDJT program provides communities training that meets specific labor market demands in fields such as: brownfields assessment and cleanup, waste treatment and stormwater management, emergency response, electronics recycling, solar installation and green remediation.

Graduates develop a variety of skills sets that improve their chances to secure meaningful full-time employment. Since the inception of the EWDJT grant program in 1998, more than 256 grants have been awarded exceeding $54 million.

About 14,700 individuals have completed training, and of those, nearly 72 percent of graduates, or 10,600 individuals, have been placed in full-time employment with an average starting hourly wage of $14.34.

Past graduates of the EWDJT program have worked on response and cleanup activities associated with the 2010 BP oil spill along the Gulf Coast, the World Trade Center, and Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Sandy.

EWDJT grants are awarded to a broad range of communities with various indicators of need, including communities affected by natural disasters or the closure of manufacturing facilities, Economic Development Administration “Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership” designated communities and Housing and Urban Development/Department of Transportation/EPA “Partnership for Sustainable Communities” designated communities.

For more information on the Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training grant go to https://cfpub.epa.gov/bf_factsheets/.

Contact reporter Mick Akers at makers@pvtimes.com. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.

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