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EPA provides $200K grants to Tacoma, King County, and Alaska Forum for Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training

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Bill Dunbar (

(Seattle) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that it is providing the City of Tacoma, King County (Washington), and the Alaska Forum $200,000 each for environmental workforce development and job training.

The Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training program helps to build a skilled workforce across the country. The program awards competitive grants to nonprofit organizations and other eligible entities to recruit, train and place unemployed and underemployed individuals. Individuals completing these training programs have often overcome a variety of barriers to employment. Many are from low-income neighborhoods. The training programs also serve dislocated workers who have lost their jobs as a result of manufacturing plant closures, minorities, tribal members, transitioning veterans, and other individuals who may have faced barriers to employment.

About the Tacoma grant

The city plans to train 54 students and place at least 39 graduates in environmental jobs. The core training program includes 216 hours of instruction in 40-hour HAZWOPER, first aid/CPR, 30-hour OSHA construction safety, underground storage tank/leaking underground storage tanks, confined space entry, asbestos worker, forklift operator, scissor lift operator, chemical safety awareness, and remediation technology.

“The environmental field is a growing sector in Tacoma, and I am proud of the success we have had in building a program that equips community members with the valuable training they need to open doors to lifelong, living wage careers,” said Mayor Victoria Woodards.

Program participants who complete the training will earn three state certifications and three federal certifications. The City of Tacoma is targeting low-income, unemployed residents of Tacoma, Washington. Key partners include Goodwill of the Olympics and Rainier Region, the Clover Park Technical College, and TCB Industrial Corporation.

To learn more about Tacoma’s efforts, contact the city’s project director, Clifford Armstrong, III,  at 253-591-5826.

About the King County grant

King County plans to train 54 students and place at least 41 graduates in environmental jobs. The core training program includes 269 hours of training in OSHA 29 CFR 1910.120/40-Hour Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Operations, AHERA Building Inspector, Lead/Mold/Awareness/Abatement, Asbestos Awareness/Abatement, Confined Space/Air Quality Monitoring, First Aid/CPR/AED, and Commercial Driver’s License.

A total of six state or federal certifications will be offered. King County is targeting unemployed and underemployed residents, low-income residents living near the Duwamish/Tukwila Manufacturing Industrial Center and the Duwamish River.

Key partners include Commercial Driver School, ECOSS, Glacier Environmental Services, Inc., HARBRO Emergency Services and Restoration, King County Housing Authority, Now Environmental Services, Inc., White Center Community Development Association, King County’s Department of Natural Resources and Parks Wastewater Treatment Division, and Evergreen Abatement Services, LLC.

To learn more about King County’s efforts, contact Stephanie Moyes, at 206-263-9064.

About the Alaska Forum grant

Alaska Forum, Inc. plans to train 60 students and place at least 43 graduates in environmental jobs. The core training program includes 422 hours of instruction in: 40-hour HAZWOPER, OSHA 10-hour construction, confined space/entry, first aid/CPR/survival, GPS/GIS in environmental field work, lead awareness, asbestos awareness, hazardous materials awareness, Freon removal and handling, asbestos handler and worker, OSHA 2015 hazardous materials, MSHA awareness, wilderness first aid, Alaska certified erosion and sediment control lead, OSHA disaster site worker, shipping and transportation DOT/IATA, trenching and excavating, incident command system 100 and 200, NIMS IS700/706, HAZWOPER refresher, OSHA 7107 evacuation and emergency planning, and hazardous communication.

"The EPA Workforce Development grant is providing Alaska with an amazing opportunity to build collaboration with job development programs offered by the State of Alaska, Alaska Native Corporations, and Tribal governments, all while helping businesses to hire local workers,” said Kurt Eilo, Executive Director of the Alaska Forum.  “This is a win/win scenario Alaska employers and communities.”

"This EPA Job Training grant makes valuable trainings and certifications available to audiences that traditionally do not have ready access to these types of training resources,” said the Forum’s Apprenticeship Director Meg Burnett. “We are very pleased to be able to continue this program that is building a highly skilled resident Alaskan workforce.”

Program participants who complete the course will earn 23 federal certifications and five state certifications. Alaska Forum, Inc. is targeting unemployed and underemployed, low-income residents in rural areas throughout Alaska. Key partners include Ilisgvik College Department of Workforce Development (WFD), CH2M Hill, Cook Inlet Tribal Council, UMIAQ Environmental, Stantec, Knik Tribal Council, Kodiak Island Borough, Matanuska-Susitna Borough, and the Municipality of Anchorage.

To learn more about Alaska Forum’s efforts, contact Meg Burnett, at 907-331-0271 ext. 5.

For more information on EWDJT grantees, including past EWDJT grantees, please visit: 

For more information on EPA’s EWDJT program, please visit: