Grant will help city launch brownfield cleanup jobs program

Grant will help city launch brownfield cleanup jobs program

The city of Rochester will use a $500,000 grant to clean and transform blighted brownfield sites while also training workers for careers in the environmental construction industry.

The grant was provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfield Jobs Training Program and is the single largest investment in brownfields infrastructure under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Funding will help establish a Brownfields Environmental Skills Training (BEST) program, building upon the success of the Rochester Environmental Job (REJob) program. More than 120 students have graduated from the REJob program and are employed in environmental construction.

“Cleaning up brownfields in our community for future investment and supplying the environment-construction field with a trained workforce will greatly enhance our efforts to create a safe, equitable and prosperous Rochester, and to provide city residents with employment opportunities,” Mayor Malik Evans said in a news release.

The BEST program will train nearly 100 participants, with approximately 80 percent expected to find employment in environmental remediation careers. The training includes OSHA’s 40-hour Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response, Asbestos Handler/Worker Certification, Air Monitor/Asbestos Project Monitor Certification, OSHA’s 10-hour Construction Site Safety, and Construction Inspection.

Students completing the program will earn up to one state and three federal certificates.

“I am extremely grateful to the EPA for helping us pursue our goals of creating a greener and more sustainable Rochester, and working toward environmental justice,” Evans said.

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