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PathStone Corp. gets $500K for job training services in Puerto Rico

PathStone Corporation will get a $500,000 grant for job training funded through the Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfields Job Training Program to recruit, train and place workers for community revitalization and cleanup projects at brownfield sites.

The nonprofit is one of 29 organizations that will split $14.3 million across the country through the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. This funding triples the amount normally granted by EPA for Brownfields job training, ensuring stronger environmental benefits and more economic opportunities in overburdened and underserved areas.

“President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is supercharging EPA’s Brownfields Program, which is transforming blighted sites, protecting public health, and creating economic opportunities in more overburdened communities than ever before,” said EPA Deputy Administrator Janet McCabe. 

“The investments announced today will not only support the cleanup of some of our nation’s most polluted areas, but they will also equip a new generation of workers to take on the significant environmental challenges that plague overburdened neighborhoods, and jumpstart sustainable, long-term careers in the communities that need these jobs the most,” she said.

“With this unprecedented amount of funding through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we can provide people the tools and skills they need to find long-term employment,” said EPA Region 2 Regional Administrator Lisa F. Garcia. 

“This funding will provide under- and unemployed people in Puerto Rico critical training so they can reimagine and revitalize their neighborhoods and bring environmental justice to their communities, which have been so often overlooked,” Garcia said.

PathStone Corporation, a Rochester, New York-based organization, will use the funding to train up to 120 students in Puerto Rico and place at least 80 in environmental jobs.

The program will target students from Caguas, Guaynabo, Humacao, Juncos, and Las Piedras and San Juan.

The training program includes 334 hours of instruction in 40-Hour Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) training, Pesticide Safety Worker Protection Standard, AED and CPR Training, among many others. Students who complete the training will earn up to nine state and one federal certification.

This is PathStone Corporation’s fifth grant under the EPA Brownfields Job Program, totaling over $1.2 million in funding, federal government officials said.

“The mission of building family and self-sufficiency can only be achieved by empowering individuals to make a change in their lives,” said Brenda Lee Soto-Colón, senior vice president of Direct Services at PathStone Corporation. 

“Having the opportunity to continue our partnership with EPA to provide training and employment opportunities in the environmental industry is key to the change we want to see in the lives of those we serve. Our goal is to assist participants with improving their education and employability skills. We are appreciative of this new opportunity,” she said.

Individuals completing a job training program funded by the EPA often overcome a variety of barriers to employment. Many trainees are from historically underserved neighborhoods or reside in areas that are overburdened by pollution.

Graduates of Brownfields Job Training programs learn, sought-after skills and can earn a variety of certifications, ensuring employment opportunities result not just in temporary contractual work, but in long-term environmental careers. This includes certifications in lead and asbestos abatement, hazardous waste operations and emergency response, mold remediation, environmental sampling and analysis, and other environmental health and safety training.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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