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EPA Region 7 Presents Nearly $200K Check to Heartland Conservation Alliance for Brownfields Job Training Grant

Funding will provide workforce training and job opportunities for over 50 young Kansas Citians aging out of foster care

EPA Region 7 Administrator Meg McCollister (far left) presents a novelty big check to Heartland Conservation Alliance on April 20. (Photo credit: U.S. EPA)

LENEXA, KAN. (APRIL 20, 2022) – Today at the Stanley C. Palmer Engineering Center in Kansas City, Missouri, EPA Region 7 Administrator Meg McCollister presented a $198,195 novelty big check to Brownfields Job Training grant selectee Heartland Conservation Alliance (HCA). McCollister and HCA were joined by Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas, U.S. Representative Sharice Davids (Kansas), and leaders from Build Trybe, a program of the Kansas City organization Cornerstones of Care.

HCA plans to train 54 students and place at least 27 of them in environmental jobs. Partnering with Build Trybe will allow HCA to focus on young Kansas Citians who are aging out of foster care. The training program includes over 180 hours of instruction in 40-hour Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER); Build Trybe EcoServices job training; and Occupational Safety and Health Administration safety training. Students who complete the training will earn up to two federal certifications. The environmental jobs will be offered by HCA’s Nature Action Crew, which pays $17 per hour and provides a 40-hour workweek.

“Heartland Conservation Alliance’s Brownfields job training plan with Build Trybe addresses the needs of the city, as well as the needs of the student trainees,” said McCollister. “The program’s mentorship community will set up its students for success and result in a cohort of skilled young people able to work on environmental restoration jobs that will benefit the entire Kansas City area.”

“Heartland Conservation Alliance’s Nature Action Crew works throughout the Blue River watershed to combat invasive species and reintroduce native plants and trees,” said HCA Executive Director Logan Heley. “The EPA Brownfields grant will fund this program for years to come and will make a huge difference in the health of the entire riparian corridor.”

Background on EPA’s Brownfields Program

Through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, a historic $1.5 billion will be invested in EPA’s Brownfields program, including $30 million toward job training grants in 2022. This funding will transform countless lives and spur life-changing revitalization in communities large and small, urban and rural – all with the same desire to keep their neighborhoods healthy, sustainable, and reflective of the people who call them home.

Since it began in 1998, the Brownfields Job Training program has awarded over 352 grants. More than 19,456 individuals have completed training, and of those, over 14,560 individuals have been placed in full-time employment in careers related to remediation and environmental health and safety. The average starting wage for these individuals is over $14 an hour.

For more information on the selected Brownfields Job Training grant recipients, including past grantees, please visit EPA’s website.

Learn more about this and other types of Brownfields grants.

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