Equity, Sustainability and Resilience

Environmental Justice and Equitable Reinvestment

Facilitating Employment Opportunities for People Living in Communities Affected by Superfund Sites

Situation

Communities near Superfund sites often face environmental and public health issues and are economically disadvantaged, with high rates of unemployment. EPA’s Superfund Job Training Initiative (SuperJTI) provides training and employment opportunities for people living in communities affected by Superfund sites. EPA helps these communities develop job opportunities that remain long after cleanups finish.

A recent project in a community near Klamath Falls, Oregon, shows SuperJTI in action. The North Ridge Estates site was a marine barracks in the 1940s. During demolition of the barracks, asbestos contaminated the soil. Cleanup is ongoing. The community is focused on improving local quality of life and employment opportunities, and the site’s cleanup contractor needed skilled workers.

Solution

Skeo worked with EPA staff and Klamath Falls-area partners to put together North Ridge Estates SuperJTI in the spring and summer of 2016. After the site contractor shared the hiring requirements and certifications needed for its employees, we designed the program.

Skeo also partnered with the Klamath Falls Chamber of Commerce to focus on outreach, training oversight and follow up. Skeo staff led the project’s information sessions, document submissions, tryouts and graduation. Skeo also provided four days of intensive pre-employment training.

 

Outcomes

Sixteen people from the Klamath Falls community completed North Ridge Estates SuperJTI and graduated in June 2016. Graduates received certifications in five cleanup and safety courses. After graduates received job offers from the cleanup contractor, many of them are now working on site.

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“You must do the things you think you cannot do.”

– Eleanor Roosevelt