The city of Tacoma, Washington, Clover Park Technical College, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, are partnering to provide grant-funded HAZWOPER training for unemployed, underemployed, and transitioning servicemen and veterans in Pierce County, Washington into the environmental sector.
The training, offered though the Environmental Program at Clover Park, involves:
- HAZWOPER training and certification
- Hazmat station training
- Recruitment services
- Career Counseling
- Job Placement services
The program, funded through a $200K Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Grant (formerly the Brownfield Grant) aims to provide a practical course offering for those individuals who work in or foresee a career in the Environmental workforce. Furthermore, the program targets Tacoma or Pierce County residents, ages 18 or older, in an effort to bolster the environmental cleanup workforce in the area. The Washington Department of Ecology – Hazardous Sites list showed that Pierce County encompasses 72% of hazardous sites in the greater Tacoma-Pierce County area; this percentage is more than 2.5 times the national average of hazardous site population. As such, Pierce County faces the demand of environmental cleanup workforce.
EPA administrator, Scott Pruit, said about the grant-funded HAZWOPER training, “Brownfields job training programs are a win-win for communities like Tacoma and others, impacted by hazardous waste sites. They provide unemployed and underemployed citizens and transitioning servicemen and veterans with valuable technical skills that enable them to get good jobs in their communities. (The) EPA is proud to partner with the city, Clover Park Technical College, and Goodwill, to provide a gateway to careers in construction and site cleanup and bring much-needed environmental improvement to Tacoma and Pierce County.”
Positions in environmental cleanup and the handling of hazardous chemicals/waste comprise a bourgeoning career-field. Safety leaders tasked with the management of worksites which handle or house hazardous chemicals and waste should utilize an OSHA-approved training course as a resource to ensure the safety of their employees and agency compliance.