St. Nicks Alliance Receives $200K EPA Grant for Environmental Job Training

One of 18 grants countrywide and one of 3 grants citywide that empower communities to prevent, assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse brownfields

EPA announced the grant recipients for their Brownfields and Land Revitalization Programs at a press conference conducted on Zoom. Larry Rothchild, Director of St. Nicks Alliance Workforce Development is in the lower right corner. Also pictured fellow recipient Dr. Angelo Lampousis, City College of New York (upper left corner); Walter Mugdan, Deputy Regional Administrator at US EPA Region 2 (center top row); and Jennifer Mitchell, Executive Director of the HOPE Program (center bottom row)

Job training and workforce development are an important part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to advance economic opportunities and address environmental justice issues in underserved communities.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have selected eighteen organizations to receive a total of $3.3 million in grants for environmental job training programs across the country in an effort to stimulate the cleanup and redevelopment of brownfields.

“EPA’s brownfields job training grants will enable these organizations to transform the lives of New Yorkers by providing individuals the opportunity to gain meaningful long-term employment and a livable wage in an environmental field,”

Walter Mugdan, acting EPA Regional Administrator
North Brooklyn Neighbors interactive map tracks environmental pollution from past to present: https://northbrooklynneighbors.org/eli/

A brownfield is a property in which the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant is an obstacle to development. Cleaning up these areas not only improves and protects the environment brings but also builds local economies by creating jobs and repurposing contaminated land and structures.

St. Nicks Alliance is one of three NYC organizations (The HOPE Program, Inc. and the Research Foundation at The City University of New York are the other two) who will each receive an Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training grant (EWDJT) of or close to $200,000 for programs to create a skilled workforce in communities where brownfields assessment and cleanup activities are taking place. St. Nicks Alliance will use the grant to train 60 individuals in environmental remediation training (ERT).  This field is a necessary utility providing the removal of pollution or contaminants from areas preceding their revitalization.        

St. Nicks Alliance Workforce Development Center provides ERT training.

“EPA’s brownfields job training grants will enable these organizations to transform the lives of New Yorkers by providing individuals the opportunity to gain meaningful long-term employment and a livable wage in an environmental field,” said Walter Mugdan, acting EPA Regional Administrator. “These three grantees do critical work to bring good paying jobs to communities across New York City that also help make them safer and healthier places to live and work.”

“[During the partnership with the EPA] St. Nicks Alliance Workforce Development Center has trained and placed 931 environmental remediation technicians in high wage jobs since the early 2000s. There continues to be a strong demand from our employer partners and from local residents in north and central Brooklyn.”

Larry Rothchild, Director of St. Nicks Alliance Workforce Development

Rather than filling local jobs with contractors from distant cities, these organizations offer residents of communities historically affected by pollution, economic disinvestment, and contaminated brownfields properties an opportunity to gain the skills and certifications needed to secure local environmental work in their communities.

Ed Brittenham, Chair of St. Nicks Alliance’s Business Advisory Council said, “St. Nicks Alliance is thrilled to be selected once again by the EPA to provide environmental remediation training (ERT) in North Brooklyn, continuing a 20-year partnership. The important skills taught in this program enable participants to build successful careers protecting the environment and keeping our communities healthy and safe.”

Individuals completing a job training program funded by EPA typically graduate with a variety of certifications that improve their marketability and help ensure that employment opportunities are not just temporary contractual work, but long-term careers. This includes certifications in: lead and asbestos abatement, hazardous waste operations and emergency response, mold remediation, environmental sampling and analysis, and other environmental health and safety training.

(l to r) Michael Rochford, Exec. Dir. St. Nicks Alliance and Larry Rothchild Director of St. Nicks Alliance Workforce Development during the EPA’s virtual announcement of the grant recipients for their Brownfields and Land Revitalization Programs

Larry Rothchild, Director of St. Nicks Alliance Workforce Development, said, “[During the partnership with the EPA] St. Nicks Alliance Workforce Development Center has trained and placed 931 environmental remediation technicians in high wage jobs since the early 2000s.  There continues to be a strong demand from our employer partners and from local residents in north and central Brooklyn.  The [grant] will enable St. Nicks Alliance to train sixty disadvantaged members of our local community. Trainees will receive industry recognized certifications including the 40-hour OSHA HAZWOPER, 30-hour OSHA, 10-hour OSHA site safety, 8-hour confined space, 32-hour asbestos handler and/or 16-hour lead abatement, and/or 16-hour mold removal. All trainees will receive life skills, job readiness, and job search support.” 

If you are interested in ERT training, join the weekly info session on Wednesdays at 1 p.m. here: https://zoom.us/j/96424442135?fbclid=IwAR1U4gc6UAk7a86e4_XiF_fXiEcJpyKZObOrn8a21og3oJl22jxa9rulVkI#success

Author: The Greenline

Your monthly source for North Brooklyn community news covering Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Bushwick. Currently 13,000 copies are distributed throughout the community free of charge.

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