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EPA Awards Job Training Grant to Saint Paul Port Authority

Release Date: 08/24/2011
Contact Information: Mick Hans, 312-353-5050,; Peter Cassell, 312-886-6234,; (SPPA) Thomas Collins, 651-223-8038

No. 11-OPA078

(CHICAGO – August 24, 2011) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded a $300,000 Brownfields Job Training Grant to the Saint Paul Port Authority in Minnesota.

EPA Regional Administrator Susan Hedman recognized SPPA’s sustained commitment to urban redevelopment at an event today with Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman at the Beacon Bluff Business Center at 900 Bush Avenue. Beacon Bluff is located on the site of the former 3M Co.’s international headquarters, now redeveloped as the anchor of an expanding business park.

“The Port Authority has been a leader in redeveloping underutilized brownfields sites for decades,” said Hedman. “This grant will will help veterans and dislocated workers gain the marketable skills needed for today's green jobs."

The grant will be managed by SPPA ‘s workforce development arm, Employer Solutions Inc. Employer Solutions plans to train 90 students and place at least 70 percent of graduates in environmental jobs. The core training consists of six three-week sessions, with courses on hazardous materials management, energy management and reducing environmental releases and emissions. Additional classes cover asbestos cleanup and hazardous waste excavation.

“This is an important day for Saint Paul,” Mayor Chris Coleman said. “In this tough economic climate, these kinds of training and placement programs are essential. I look forward to watching this program’s success.”

“The ongoing partnership between the Environmental Protection Agency and the Saint Paul Port Authority has helped stimulate the creation of hundreds of jobs in the City and, with this grant, Employer Solutions Inc. and the Port will help assure that local residents have the skills to compete for those jobs,” Port President Louis Jambois said.

SPPA has been awarded more than $9.4 million through 17 separate brownfields grants since 1997. About $4.2 million of that has supported the redevelopment of the Port Authority’s Beacon Bluff Business Center.

Many Twin Cities area governments have received EPA brownfields funding. The City of Saint Paul has received $2.4 million in grants since 2003, primarily supporting the planned Central Corridor Light Rail Transit line. Hennepin County ($7.5 million since 1998), Minneapolis ($1.6 million since 1999), Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development ($5.7 million since 2003), Ramsey County ($200,000 in 2011), and South Saint Paul ($2.1 million since 2005) have also been awarded EPA brownfields grants.

More information on EPA’s brownfields program is available at More information about EPA Brownfields Job Training Grants, including a fact sheet about the 2011 SPPA grant, is available at