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Springfield nabs $200K workforce training grant from EPA

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded the city of Springfield a $200,000 workforce training grant.

The grant is specifically earmarked for the recruitment, training and placement of residents into full-time jobs in environmental fields, according to a news release.

Known locally as Green for Greene, the program is a five-week course that gives participants the ability to earn certifications and licenses for sustainable jobs, such as those in the solar industry.

“This EPA Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training grant will be a key component to continue to aid local unemployed and underemployed residents of the Ozark region,” said Isaac Weber, Missouri Job Center senior workforce development specialist, in the release. “Not only do our graduates receive training to make them a qualified employee for employers, but the jobs they receive help restore and revitalize the community that they live in.”

The EPA funding will support 50 trainees in the program, with a goal of placing at least 35 of them into such jobs as site cleaning, ecological restoration and asbestos abatement for brownfields remediation projects. Graduates earn three state and 10 federal certifications, as well as two state licenses.

The certifications cover:
    •    hazardous waste operations and emergency response;
    •    construction safety;
    •    trenching and excavation;
    •    mold abatement;
    •    first aid/CPR;
    •    forklift operation; and
    •    lead and asbestoses abatement.

Green for Greene partners include Community Partnership of the Ozarks, the Drew Lewis Foundation, Bryan University, Environmental Works Inc., Gerken Environmental, Heavy Construction Laborers and Sun Solar, according to the release.

Springfield recently received a separate EPA brownfields grant of $300,000.

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