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Brownfields Job Training Grant Presentation, Boston, Massachusetts

Remarks of Governor Christine Todd Whitman,
Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
at the
Jobs for Youth Training Center
Boston, Massachusetts

May 16, 2003

Thank you, Bob (Varney), for that introduction. It's great to be here in Boston today to recognize and support the good work being done by the JFY Network and the Lowell Coalition for a Better Acre.

Today I have the pleasure of presenting the JFY Network with its fourth Brownfields Job Training grant since 1998 and Lowell Coalition with its first. The fact that this is JFY = s fourth brownfields training grant is testament to the quality of the work they do and the difference they are making here in Boston. I also think that Lowell will benefit from having people nearby who have done this before B it's always good to have a veteran in the area your first time out.

These grants are designed to train people in the skills they need to help address the challenge of brownfields in their neighborhoods B those abandoned and possibly polluted plots of land that mar the landscape and are a blight to the neighborhoods in which they are located. Brownfields, wherever they occur, are monuments to past failures B until they are reclaimed for beneficial use. Then they become beacons of hope for the future.

By training people locally to address their neighborhood brownfields, we are not only helping to develop the skills needed to reclaim this land for the community, we are also training the next generation of environmental professionals. Those who have participated in past training projects like this have found jobs B solid jobs with a bright future and a good paycheck B in the environmental field.

Today we are awarding ten brownfields Job Training Grants around the country, including these for Boston and Lowell. The training these grants will make possible is rigorous and challenging. Right here in Boston, for example, JFY Networks will provide training to 60 area residents over the next two years. The course of study will include up to 460 hours of instruction in such topics as Environmental Chemistry, Hazardous Material Handling, and Applied Mathematics and Computer Skills for environmental technicians.

By the time they = re done, the successful graduates of the program will be ready to make their contribution to the cleanup and revitalization of their communities and of other brownfield sites both near and far. They will be making a real, lasting difference to their neighbors and neighborhoods, improving the quality of life and increasing the opportunities available to the people who live and work in the area.

I am pleased that the landmark Brownfields bill President Bush signed into law last year provides support for this worthwhile program. By providing training and opportunity, we provide hope for the future B both for the young men and women who will acquire new skills and to the communities which will benefit from their expertise.

This is a great program B one that builds new partnerships for environmental progress, so that our children and grandchildren can live in a cleaner and healthier America. Thank you. Now I would like to ask Bob Varney to join me in presenting these checks to the JFY Network and the Lowell Coalition for a Better Acre.