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Two Bay Area organizations selected to receive EPA funding for unemployed workers to receive environmental job training

Release Date: 05/13/2014
Contact Information: David Yogi,, 415-972-3350

SAN FRANCISCO – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announces it has selected the Cypress Mandela Training Center in Oakland, Calif. and Hunters Point Family in San Francisco, Calif. to receive $200,000 each in Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training (EWDJT) grant funding to provide job training to unemployed and economically-disadvantaged residents of San Francisco, Oakland, and surrounding East Bay communities. In total, 18 grantees were selected nationally to receive approximately $3.6 million in funding.

“EPA is excited to partner with Cypress Mandela and Hunters Point Family to provide community members the skills they need to clean up contaminated sites in the Bay Area,” said Jared Blumenfeld, Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “These skills will support local involvement in environmental work for years to come.”

Cypress Mandela Training Center’s program is unique in its partnerships with environmental contractors and utility providers. Cypress Mandela has a strong reputation throughout the Bay Area in graduating highly skilled and workforce-ready graduates.

In addition to environmental technician training, Hunters Point Family is also providing instruction in aquaponics. The community is developing a social enterprise in aquaponics on a former brownfield site. Program graduates will be able to go directly to work benefitting their community.

EWDJT grants fund training programs in local nonprofit organizations, community colleges, cities, states, tribes, and counties that provide unemployed and under-employed, including veterans, minority, and predominately low income individuals with the comprehensive skills and certifications needed to enter full-time careers in the environmental field. The funding also supports job placement and recruitment activities. These green jobs give hope to individuals to overcome significant barriers to employment and help protect public health and the environment by providing a skilled job force to clean up contamination and build more sustainable futures for local communities.

Graduates of the program develop a comprehensive set of skills to secure full-time, sustainable employment in many areas of the environmental field, and the program has resulted in an excellent cumulative job placement rate. Nationally, the average an hourly starting wage is $14.00. Program graduates obtain employment within their own communities, areas often historically affected by blight, economic disinvestment, and sites contaminated with solid and hazardous wastes. Rather than filling local environmental jobs with professionals outside of these communities, these grants help provide an opportunity for local residents to secure careers that make a visible impact cleaning up their neighborhoods and creating a locally skilled workforce. Graduates obtain employment in fields such as: recycling, brownfields assessment and cleanup, wastewater treatment, stormwater management, emergency response, oil spill cleanup, solar installation, and Superfund site remediation.

The additional 16 grantees are:

    Los Angeles Conservation Corps, Calif.
    City of Durham, N.C.
    Memphis Bioworks, Tenn.
    City of Milwaukee, Wis.
    St. Nicks Alliance; Brooklyn, N.Y.
    Civic Works; Baltimore, Md.
    Community Development Corporation of Tampa, Fla.
    Limitless Vistas; New Orleans, La.
    City of Camden, Ark.
    Energy Coordinating Agency; Philadelphia, Penn.
    Lewis and Clark County, Mont.
    Alaska Forum
    Northstar Center for Human Development; Hartford, Conn.
    City of Detroit, Mich.
    The Workplace, Inc.; Bridgeport, Conn.
    Mo-Kan Regional Council; St. Joseph, Mo.

Since the EWDJT program’s inception in 1998, the EPA has funded 239 job training grants totaling more than $50 million. More than 12,800 individuals have completed training, and of those, more than 9,100 have secured employment in the environmental field.

More information on Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training grants:

More information on EPA’s Brownfields program