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Kansas City’s Full Employment Council Inc. Selected for $200,000 EPA Grant to Recruit, Train and Place Workers in Green Environmental Jobs

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Ashley Murdie (

Environmental News


EPA seal(Lenexa, Kan., May 7, 2018) – The Full Employment Council, Inc., of Kansas City, Missouri, has been selected to receive a $200,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help recruit, train and place residents in full-time sustainable green jobs.

As part of EPA’s Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training (EWDJT) program, this grant will help prepare people for green jobs that reduce environmental contamination and provide more sustainable futures for the communities most affected by solid and hazardous waste contamination.

Announcement of the grant was made today by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt as part of a $3.3 million grant package being distributed to 17 organizations nationwide.

“Through these Brownfields job training programs, we’re investing in getting Americans back to work and improving local economies and the environment,” Pruitt said. “Graduates will acquire the skill set necessary to gain full-time employment in the environmental field and help revitalize their communities.”

Overall, funding from EPA’s grant will support the enrollment of approximately 50 trainees in the program, with a goal of placing at least 35 graduates into the local job market in specialized environmental positions, such as Superfund site cleanup, ecological restoration, and lead and asbestos abatement at brownfields remediation projects.

The Full Employment Council will target economically disadvantaged adults and youth, Temporary Assistance for Families recipients, and minority residents of neighborhoods impacted by brownfields in Kansas City, Missouri, for participation in this program.

Participants will receive certifications in hazardous waste operations and emergency response; lead abatement and asbestos remediation awareness; and a commercial truck driver license for the removal and transportation of toxic hazardous materials. Graduates of the program will earn two state and three federal certifications to perform environmental work.

“We congratulate the Full Employment Council for their success in our Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training program and look forward to their next graduating class of environmental specialists,” said EPA Region 7 Administrator Jim Gulliford. “These job training grants are truly a win-win for all. By providing underemployed and unemployed workers a pathway to well-paying jobs in the environmental field, we help transform brownfields into vital, sustainable projects for the community.”

Key partners in the Full Employment Council’s implementation of the grant include the Kansas City Planning and Development Department; Metropolitan Community College; reStart, Inc.; Hispanic Economic Development Corporation; 100 Black Men of Greater Kansas City; Burns and McDonnell; Tetra Tech, Inc.; New Horizons Enterprises LLC; SCS Engineers; Olsson Associates; Wilson and Company; Professional Service Industries, Inc.; Mustardseed Cultural and Environmental Services LLC; and Blackstone Environmental.

“The Full Employment Council is extremely appreciative of the $200,000 grant made available through the Environmental Protection Agency,” said President and CEO of Full Employment Council Clyde McQueen. “We are extremely enthused to be working with the city of Kansas City, Missouri, through the Brownfield Remediation Division of their Planning and Development Department, to systematically reduce brownfield and contaminated areas within the urban core, while targeting training and employment opportunities to the very citizenry who have been adversely impacted by living within or close to these contaminated areas.

"We are also excited to be working with those brownfield contractors and business organizations who have agreed to serve on an advisory committee to accelerate the immediate employment of program graduates, upon their successful completion of these training requirements."

Since the EWDJT program began in 1998, more than 288 grants have been awarded. Over 17,100 individuals have completed training, and of those, more than 12,500 individuals have been placed in full-time employment earning an average starting wage of over $14 an hour. This equates to a cumulative job placement rate of 73 percent of graduates.


The EWDJT 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.

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