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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The EPA is seeking local applicants for its Green Jobs Training Program

According to Pop City the EPA is looking for 60 Pittsburgh area applicants for its Brownfields Jobs Training Program. The federal agency is looking for applicants who live in local brownfield areas, such as Braddock, Swissvale, Clairton, Duquesne, McKeesport and Homestead. The training will develop the individuals to become certified environmental technicians and brownfield remediation specialists.

From the Pop City announcement:

The jobs pay about $12 to $15 an hour and include health insurance and benefits. Job placement services are available after training. Graduates will receive licenses for positions such as field technicians and phase I environmental technicians that conduct soil, water, air and building material testing and may receive further certification as a lead or asbestos inspector or clean-up technician.
While $12 to $15 an hour doesn't sound like much, and it isn't, it is a start, and these are the types of jobs and skills that will soon be in high demand. The program will lead to higher paying positions once the trainees get some experience. The EPA reaching out to potential applicants in areas like the aforementioned East Pittsburgh neighborhoods is what I call the Van Jones effect. As Van Jones said, the green movement cannot be just about rich people putting solar panels on their rooftops. The green movement must be inclusive, and must be about green jobs for all, especially those who are struggling and looking for jobs that have the potential for advancement and higher incomes. Green jobs can and will be the "rising tide that lifts all boats" and I am glad to see this announcement that there are indeed real green job openings right here in Pittsburgh.

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