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EPA Funded Project Gives People Valuable Skills; a Shot at a Good Job

Release Date: 03/24/2009
Contact Information: Beth Totman (212) 637-3662,

(New York, N.Y.) In these troubling economic times, giving people the skills they need to get good, well-paying jobs is critical, and a program in East Harlem, partially funded by a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is doing just that. Today the Agency’s top regional official, George Pavlou, joined STRIVE/East Harlem’s founder Robert Carmona, as a new class of students begins an intensive job training program funded in part by a $200,000 EPA Brownfields job training grant.

“In many ways, EPA’s Brownfields program was an idea ahead of its time,” said George Pavlou. “It was one of the first big national programs to put money into the hands of organizations and local governments that not only creates jobs and teaches valuable skills to those seeking employment, but also ultimately cleans up our communities.”

“EPA Brownfields Remediation Job Training funding has enabled STRIVE to become a leader in creating living wage job opportunities in New York City,” said Rob Carmona. “Now we have used this funding to help the hard-to-employ develop a solid set of skills to be prepared for jobs in the new green economy.”

In February 2008, EPA selected STRIVE/East Harlem Employment Services, Inc. to receive a Brownfields job training grant. STRIVE serves residents of New York City’s East Harlem neighborhood, where East Harlem has a very high concentration of waste handlers and sources of air pollution. It also has one of the highest asthma rates in the United States. The current construction and environmental remediation training available through the STRIVE program positions trainees to respond to the demand for construction workers with environmental training in Harlem.

STRIVE recently began the process of training 120 students, with a goal of placing at least 96 in environmental jobs, and tracking the graduates for two years. Trainees will receive over 100 hours of training that will include coursework in lead abatement, asbestos removal, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, and other issues often faced at Brownfields sites. Participants have been recruited from residents of East Harlem who will be enrolled concurrently in STRIVE’s Construction Skills Program.

For more information about the Brownfields job training program visit:

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