SFCC Awarded $200,000 EPA Job Training Grant

Santa Fe Community College Awarded $200,000 EPA Job Training Grant

 Grant will help train unemployed to learn skills needed for employment in environmental field

SANTA FE, NM – Santa Fe Community College announces that the college is one of 14 organizations selected by the Environmental Protection Agency to receive funding to operate environmental job training programs for local unemployed residents. Funded through the Agency’s Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training (EWDJT) Program, the organizations will receive a total of approximately $2.7 million to help residents learn the skills needed to secure employment in the environmental field. These grants help prepare people for green jobs that reduce environmental contamination and provide more sustainable futures for the communities most affected by solid and hazardous waste contamination.

“Brownfields job training programs are a win-win for communities impacted by hazardous waste sites,” said U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “These job training programs can touch and change lives by providing them sustainable careers with livable wages and opportunities for economic advancement.”

“Santa Fe Community College has long led the way in environmental job training programs for Northern New Mexico students and we are honored to receive this valuable funding in order to continue this work,” SFCC President Randy Grissom said. “We continue to promote sustainable and environmental technologies as a driver of economic growth and new jobs.”

The college’s grant of $200,000 will help train 69 students and place at least 51 program graduates in environmental jobs. The training program includes instruction in hazardous waste and solid waste management, health and safety, environmental site assessments and sampling, mold remediation and asbestos awareness, allowing graduates to earn 12 state or federal certifications. SFCC plans to focus recruitment on rural Native Americans, veterans and underserved youth in the Santa Fe area. The college has partnered with Coordinated Vision LLC, Northern New Mexico College, New Mexico Branch of the Association of General Contractors, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Santa Fe YouthWorks, SER Jobs for Progress, New Mexico Workforce Connection, Northern Area Local Workforce Development Board, and Eight Northern Indian Pueblos Council Office of Environmental and Technical Assistance.

For more than two decades, EPA’s EWDJT program has helped put people to work by building a skilled workforce across the country. The program awards competitive grants to nonprofit organizations and other eligible entities to recruit, train and place unemployed and underemployed individuals.  Individuals completing the training have often overcome a variety of barriers to employment. Many are from low-income neighborhoods. The training programs also serve dislocated workers who have lost their jobs as a result of manufacturing plant closures, or are minorities, tribal members, transitioning veterans, ex-offenders and other individuals who may have faced barriers to employment.

Since 1998, when the EWDJT grant program started, more than 274 grants have been awarded exceeding $57 million. Approximately 16,300 individuals have completed training, and of those, more than 11,900 individuals have been placed in full-time employment earning an average starting wage of over $14 an hour. This equates to a cumulative job placement rate of 73 percent of graduates.

There are an estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites in America.  Since the beginning of EPA’s Brownfields Program, investments have leveraged more than $22 billion from a variety of public and private sources for cleanup and redevelopment activities. This has resulted in approximately 117,525 jobs nationwide. On average, $16.11 was leveraged for each EPA Brownfields dollar and 8.5 jobs leveraged per $100,000 of EPA brownfields funds expended on assessment, cleanup, and revolving loan fund cooperative agreements. When brownfields are addressed, nearby property values within a one-mile radius can increase 5-15.2 percent according to an independent study.

For information on SFCC’s job training programs, contact Janet Kerley, project director at 505-800-8765 or by email at janet.kerley@sfcc.edu


For more than three decades, Santa Fe Community College has served as the gateway to success for individuals and the community. SFCC provides affordable, high quality educational programs that serve the social, cultural, technological and economic needs of a diverse community. The college serves more than 15,000 students per year in its credit, noncredit and adult education programs. For further information, visit the website or call 505-428-1000. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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