Monday, January 11, 2010

Cincinnati applying for brownfield job training grant

Dozens of residents in Hamilton and Butler counties could have the opportunity to gain skills in the abatement of lead, asbestos, mold and hazardous wastes through a $200,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA).

Cincinnati City Council voted unanimously last month to accept the funding for its Brownfield Job Training Program, which is scheduled to be awarded in February or March. U.S. EPA plans on awarding grants to 12 to 13 such programs this fiscal year.

The eight-week program, held in cooperation with the International Chemical Workers Union Council, Cincinnati-Hamilton County Community Action Agency, Butler Technology and Career Development School, and the Cincinnati Job Corps Center, provides environmental technician training to 60 unemployed or underemployed Hamilton County and Butler County residents affected by brownfield hazards.

The curriculum includes approximately 300 hours of classroom instruction and on-the-job training.

No recent numbers are available, but, during the two grant cycles previous to 2007, the City's Office of Environmental Quality estimates that 136 residents were graduated from the program and 87 residents earned jobs with one of more than 40 employers.