Press Release

Gillibrand Announces $200,000 Job Training Grant for St. Nicks Alliance

May 20, 2014

Brooklyn, NY – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee, announced today that St. Nicks Alliance, a Brooklyn-based non-profit, will receive $200,000 grant through the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training program. Federal funding will be used to train 56 Brooklyn students and place 45 graduates in environmental careers. The program, which tracks graduates for two years, will focus on hiring unemployed and underemployed residents of north and central Brooklyn, with a particular emphasis on recruiting veterans, young adults, and public housing residents.

“This is a valuable investment for Brooklyn,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Federal funding, which aims to reduce contamination and strengthen our neighborhoods, will help connect our city youth and veterans to promising job opportunities and a brighter future.”

“We thank Senator Gillibrand for helping secure this important grant that will secure gainful employment for Brooklyn residents,” said Carolann Johns, Director of St. Nicks Alliance Workforce Development. “Our neighborhood is home to many environmentally contaminated sites, so the grant enables people from the community to serve the community by cleaning these sites up. Our Workforce Development programs historically have high completion rate, so we look forward to hitting the ground running and beginning this important work.”

St. Nicks is a community-led institution operating in five strategically focused programs: housing preservation and development; economic development; workforce development;  health care; and youth family services. The core training program includes 126 hours of instruction in 40-hour HAZWOPER, OSHA construction health and safety, mold and asbestos remediation, confined space entry, innovative technologies, and introduction to environmental industry. In lieu of mold and asbestos training, some participants may elect to obtain a Class B truck driving license with HazMat endorsement. St. Nicks and its partners also will leverage 45 hours of job readiness and life skills training. Key stakeholders include NYC Mayor’s Office of Environmental Remediation, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Big Apple Occupational Safety Corp., Newtown Creek Alliance, Black Veterans for Social Justice, OUTRAGE, Southside Mission, and a number of community-based organizations and environmental employers.

Nationwide, graduates of EPA’s Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training (EWDJT) program develop a comprehensive set of skills to secure employment in many areas of the environmental field. The goal of this program is to fill environmental jobs with local residents as much as possible and to provide them with careers that make a visible impact cleaning up their neighborhoods while creating a skilled workforce. Since the EWDJT program’s inception in 1998, the EPA has funded 239 job training grants totaling more than $50 million. More than 12,800 individuals have completed training, and of those, more than 9,100 have secured employment in the environmental field.