The Northwest Regional Workforce Investment Board (NRWIB) of Waterbury has been awarded a $200,000 Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Grant by the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
This funding will allow the NRWIB to continue providing education, hands-on training and job-placement assistance to Waterbury area residents. Past program graduates have assisted in the remediation of several local brownfield projects such as Nova Dye, Chase Brass and Copper and East Aurora Street. Waterbury was one of 18 grantees nationwide to be awarded $ 3.5 million in total funding by the EPA and the only New England awardee.
“We are pleased and excited to be awarded another round of funding from the United States EPA Brownfield Training Grant. The City of Waterbury and the surrounding area is host to a number of these Brownfield sites,” said Cathy Awwad, Executive Director of the Northwest Regional Workforce Investment Board. “The opportunity for local residents to train and earn a living wage remediating these contaminated areas within their city limits is an added benefit to the economic revitalization of these sites.”
The grant announcement comes during the same week the EPA honored Mayor Neil M. O’Leary for his work in brownfield redevelopment and community revitalization. The agency honored O’Leary with its Individual Award for his work in cleaning many of Waterbury’s brownfields, remnants of the Brass City’s industrial past, and turning them back into usable property
The NRWIB plans to train 42 students and place at least 40 graduates in environmental jobs. The core training program includes 200 hours of instruction in: 40-hour HAZWOPER; asbestos abatement supervisor training; lead abatement worker training; OSHA 30-hour construction safety; lead renovation, repair, and painting; respiratory protection; confined space; and UST removal. Participants who complete the training will earn four state certifications and five federal certifications. The NRWIB targets unemployed and underemployed residents of Waterbury.