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News Releases from Region 02

EPA Provides Nearly $200,000 for Green Job Training of Formerly Incarcerated People

Contact Information: 
John Martin (martin.johnj@epa.gov)

(New York, N.Y.) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded the Fortune Society of New York a $192,300 workforce development and job training grant to help fund the organization's program to train formerly incarcerated people in green jobs. The jobs involve cleaning up brownfields and other contaminated sites. Brownfields are properties with moderate contamination which can threaten environmental quality and public health and can interfere with redevelopment.

"The Fortune Society provides crucial job training for people recently released from Prison," said EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck. "EPA is proud to provide financial support for job training in this growing field. Unfortunately, there is no shortage of contaminated properties in the New York City metropolitan area."

The Fortune Society will train 50 formerly incarcerated people, and place at least 42 graduates in environmental jobs. The training program will include more than 240 hours of instruction in green infrastructure and stormwater management, innovative treatment technology, and the EPA's lead renovation, repair and painting rule, among other green job skills. Participants who complete the core training will earn up to eight state or federally recognized certifications. The Fortune Society will work with private companies and local government agencies to place graduates in environmental jobs.

The Fortune Society is a nonprofit social service organization, founded in 1967, whose mission is to support successful reentry from prison and promote alternatives to incarceration. The Fortune Society serves approximately 3,000 men and women annually at three New York City-area locations: a service center in Long Island City, and both the Fortune Academy and Castle Gardens in West Harlem. The organization's programs are frequently recognized, both nationally and internationally, for their quality and innovation.

The Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act was passed in 2002, establishing a Brownfields Program that provides funding for brownfields assessments, cleanups, revolving loans and green job training. The program encourages redevelopment of America's estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites and promotes job creation. A total of 19 communities in 17 states and territories received approximately $3.6 million in Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training grants through the EPA Brownfields program this year.

Additional information on EPA Region 2 Brownfields activities is available at http://www.epa.gov/region02/brownfields/

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