Lenexa, Kan. -- The Mo-Kan Regional Council, of St. Joseph, Mo., is among 18 select organizations across the country receiving a total of $3.6 million in grants announced by EPA’s Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training (EWDJT) program.
The EWDJT program provides funds to non-profit organizations and other eligible entities to recruit, train and place predominantly low-income and minority, unemployed and underemployed residents from communities impacted by hazardous and solid wastes. The program helps its graduates develop skills that improve their ability to secure full-time sustainable employment in various aspects of hazardous and solid waste management, and in other environmental jobs.
The Mo-Kan Regional Council will receive $200,000, with which it plans to train 35 students, place at least 30 of them in environmental jobs, and track the graduates for at least one year.
Mo-Kan is an economic and community development organization officially recognized by the states of Kansas and Missouri, and by the federal government. The organization will use its EWDJT grant to target unemployed and underemployed individuals within a 15-county area of northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas.
Mo-Kan’s EWDJT grant will support a core training program that includes 58 hours of instruction in 40-hour HAZWOPER training, 10-hour OSHA construction safety training, CPR/AED/first aid training, and green infrastructure and stormwater management. Students will also receive supplemental training in either of two focus areas. In 2015, the first curriculum year will include 264 hours of training in wastewater treatment and collection systems and 16-hour asbestos awareness training. The second curriculum year, 2016, will include 120 hours of training in environmental remediation, including lead abatement, asbestos abatement supervision, and mold remediation. Graduates of the training will receive up to nine federal or state certifications to perform environmental work.
Key partners for Mo-Kan’s training efforts include the Metropolitan Energy Center, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Habitat for Humanity, AFL-CIO Community Services, the Northwest Missouri Workforce Investment Board, the Missouri Career Center, the City of St. Joseph, and other community-based organizations and environmental employers.
Nationwide, since the EWDJT program’s inception in 1998, 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.