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U.S. EPA, Navajo Nation Celebrate First Superfund Job Training Graduating Class

Release Date: 12/04/2012
Contact Information: David Yogi, 415-972-3350,     

Twenty graduates complete first Superfund job training program in a tribal nation 

SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Navajo Nation will recognize the first graduates from a tribal nation to participate in and complete EPA’s Superfund Job Training Initiative (SuperJTI). Officials from EPA and the President of the Navajo Nation will attend the ceremony tonight at Gallup Community Service Center in Gallup, New Mexico.     

 “We provide Superfund job training to give the community an advantage when it comes to local cleanup jobs,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “This training helps develop the Navajo workforce for the future -- the life and job skills these graduates receive make them attractive candidates wherever cleanup work is being performed.”

“The new graduates from the Superfund Job Training Initiative mark a new step for the Navajo Nation. For generations, our Nation has been finding new avenues to establish our Nation as a sovereign and independent tribal Nation. Having a qualified workforce is a part of establishing real sovereignty for the Navajo Nation. This is a step in the right direction and we are thankful to the U.S. EPA for helping our communities gain a ‘leg-up’ with cleanup jobs,” said Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly.

In September and October 2012 a robust recruitment effort sought eligible area residents.   Twenty candidates were selected from a highly competitive field of more than 150 interested residents to participate in the rigorous two-week training course. The course included three days of pre-employment training that covered interviewing skills and work readiness, followed by seven days of intense technical training including Radon Measurement and Mitigation, CPR/First Aid, and the 40-hour Hazardous Waste and Emergency Response course.                                              

For more on Superfund JTI: