EPA Selects 18 Organizations to Receive $3.3 Million in Brownfields Job Training Grants to Build a Skilled Environmental Workforce in Economically Distressed Communities Across the Nation

WASHINGTON (March 11, 2021) — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing the selection of 18 organizations to receive a total of $3.3 million in grants for environmental job training programs across the country. 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.

Funded through the Agency’s successful Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training (EWDJT) Program, these grants will provide funding to organizations that are working to create a skilled workforce in communities where EPA brownfields assessment and cleanup activities are taking place. 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.

“EPA’s brownfields job training grants help transform lives by providing individuals the opportunity to gain meaningful long-term employment and a livable wage in an environmental field,” said Barry Breen, Acting Assistant Administrator of EPA’s Office of Land and Emergency Management. “Individuals completing training often overcome a variety of barriers to employment and many are from low-income neighborhoods or reside in the areas that are affected by the presence of brownfields sites. Seventy-four percent of the individuals trained under this program go on to full-time employment.”

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

Since 1998, the Agency’s EWDJT Program has awarded more than 335 grants. With these grants, 18,541 individuals have been trained and 13,751 have been placed in careers related to land remediation and environmental health and safety, with an average hourly wage of over $14.

The organizations selected for funding today plan to train approximately 900 individuals with many of the graduates moving into environmental jobs in their communities. In addition, sixty percent of these organizations plan to serve our country’s veterans.

Today’s selectees are:

  • Groundwork Rhode Island – Pawtucket, RI
  • The WorkPlace, Inc. – Bridgeport, CT
  • City of Worcester –  Worcester, MA
  • Vermont Rural Water Association – Essex Junction, VT
  • People Uniited for Sustainable Housing, Inc. Buffalo – Buffalo, NY
  • St. Nick’s Alliance – Brooklyn, NY
  • The Hope Program, Inc. – Brooklyn, NY
  • The Research Foundation of CUNY – New York, NY
  • West End Neighborhood House, Inc. – Wilmington, DE
  • Energy Coordinating Agency – Philadelphia, PA
  • Pittsburgh Conservation Corps dba Landforce – Pittsburgh, PA
  • City of East Point – East Point, GA
  • Southwest Economic Solutions Corporation – Detroit, MI
  • Santa Fe Community College – Santa Fe, NM
  • Limitless Vistas, Inc. – New Orleans, LA
  • Groundwork Denver – Denver, CO
  • Kern County Builders Exchange – Bakersfield, CA
  • Nye County – Pahrump, NV

For more information on the selected Brownfields EWDJT grant recipients, including past grantees, please visit:

For more information on this, and other types of Brownfields grants, please visit: