Graduates of the EPA grant job-training program received the certificates they earned at a special commencement ceremony last Friday, Oct. 12. Janet Kerley was the instructor of the EPA’s Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training (EWDJT) Program. Kris Swedin, Director of Continuing Education and Contract Training, said “the students are extremely lucky to have such a nationally recognized instructor. She was one of the contributors who helped draft the language for the federal EPA Brownfields legislation.”
Camilla Bustamante, Ph.D., Dean of the Schools of Trades, Advanced Technologies and Sustainability, addressed the graduating class. She commended the graduates saying that it took her years to earn many of the credentials that the students earned in the intense, five-week program. She also cited the huge job demand for people with those credentials in the region, as well as on a national level. She talked about how environmental technicians are needed right now in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael.
A highlight of the ceremony was a film shared made by Kody Productions, which featured all of the class as they participated in a Spill Drill exercise. Kody Dayish, a Diné filmmaker, also graduated from the program.
Graduates received certifications in the following: Forklift Operator, Solid Waste Awareness (8 hours), Hazardous Waste Management: RCRA (16 hours), OSHA Construction Standards (30 hours), Environmental Assessments (24 hours), Environmental Sampling (16 hours), Confined Space Entry (8 hours), DOT Hazmat (16 hours) and First Aid/CPR/AED.
In addition, all graduates received: 10 hours of Career Readiness: Resume Preparation, Interviewing Skills, Employment Resources in N.M. provided by NM Workforce Solutions Thaddeus (Ted) Lech and SFCC Career Readiness by SFCC Senior Career Services Coordinator Patty Armstrong. Meow Wolf and the NM Environment Department participated in an Employers Panel on what employers seek in applicants and opportunities in the environmental profession in N.M. Jay Stimmel, N.M. OSHA Compliance Assistance Specialist presented information about accidents in N.M. during the OSHA Standards class.
Most of the graduates will be volunteering for the City of Santa Fe Household Hazardous Waste Collection on November 10 to assist the City in proper handling and disposal of household chemicals.