The Missouri Job Center’s Green for Greene program – an Environmental Protection Agency grant-funded “green” job training program designed to train and secure well-paying environmental jobs for residents of under-resourced areas – is now accepting applications for its spring and summer 2019 sessions. The spring session will begin in February 2019. Applicants are asked to attend one of the weekly info sessions, which are held 9:30-10:30 a.m. every Tuesday at the Missouri Job Center, 2900 E. Sunshine.
The specific, free training courses include certifications in:
- ΟSΗΑ 10
- OSHA Hazwoper
- Trenching & Excavation
- Confined Space
- Lead Renovation Repair & Painting
- Lead Abatement Worker
- Asbestos Handler
- Forklift Driver
- Mold Abatement
- Bloodborne Pathogens
- First Aid/CPR.
“These training classes are the keys to full-time, green jobs that pay well because they are in demand,” EPA Regional Administrator Mark Hague said. “For communities like Springfield, this helps build a workforce that can reclaim and revitalize environmentally challenged properties to benefit the community.”
While Zone 1 residents are given priority admission to the program, it’s not a requirement to live in Zone 1 to participate in the program. Those interested in the training should contact Wendy Graves at 417-841-3342 or email@example.com.
The Green for Greene program was created with a $200,000 grant from EPA’s Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training (EWDJT) program in 2017. The grant was one of only 18 made available nationwide, as part of a $3.5 million grant package.
Since EPA launched the EWDJT grant program in 1998, more than 256 grants have been awarded, exceeding a total of $54 million. Approximately 14,700 individuals have completed training, and of those, more than 10,600 individuals have been placed in full-time employment with an average starting hourly wage of $14.34. This equates to a cumulative job placement rate of nearly 72 percent of graduates.
Locally, 23 trainees completed the program in 2017. Nineteen of those gained employment in the environmental field with an average hourly wage of $14.18 per hour. Two trainees chose to continue their education.
The City’s Workforce Development and Planning & Development departments worked together to secure the grant. The City has a history of positive partnerships with the EPA, including cooperation on a program that works to assess, clean up and facilitate the development of potentially contaminated properties known as “brownfields” within the city of Springfield.
According to Mary Ann Rojas, City of Springfield Workforce Development director, partners in the Missouri Job Center’s implementation of the grant include the Ozark Region Workforce Development Board, Environmental Works, Gerken Environmental, Southwest Missouri Safety Company LLC, C1 Truck Driver Training, Bryan University, and Greenfield Environmental Trust Group Inc.
Additional support was provided by Zone 1 City Councilwoman Phyllis Ferguson, City of Springfield Department of Environmental Services, the Neighborhood Advisory Council, The Drew Lewis Foundation, Sunbelt Environmental Services Inc., Keystone Building and Design, Euticals Vocational Rehabilitation, Kansas State University’s Technical Assistance to Brownfields program, OACAC Head Start, Community Partnership of the Ozarks, Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, Missouri Department of Natural Resources and Preferred Family Healthcare.
Operated by the City of Springfield’s Department of Workforce Development, the Missouri Job Center is located at 2900 E. Sunshine and serves Greene, Christian, Dallas, Polk, Stone, Taney and Webster counties.