NEWARK, NJ- March 21, 2013. New Jersey Institute for Social Justice is pleased to announce the graduation of its fourth Metro Newark Brownfields Training Program class to be held on March 21 at 6pm at PSE&G Building in downtown Newark. Twenty-one Newark and Essex County residents have completed this pre-apprenticeship program and are now prepared to move on to promising careers in environmental remediation.
Cris D’Onofrio will provide the commencement address. Mr. D’Onofrio is currently a Federal On-Scene Coordinator (OSC) with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and has been with EPA for over ten years. He has directed and supported federal emergency response actions at a range of nationally significant spills and natural disasters including Hurricane Sandy; the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill (2010); the Binghamton, NY Flood Response (2006); and the Hurricane Katrina and Rita Response Efforts (2005/2006).
Cornell William Brooks, Esq., President and CEO of NJISJ, said “Over the course of this grant, we have placed 90% of our graduates in much needed, sustainable green jobs. Our graduates have been placed at companies such as Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission, Resource Options Inc., M & V Laborers, Rotolo Consultants and Jersey Environmental Services. Each of these individuals can make the transition from unemployed or underemployed onto a career path in an industry that pays middle class wages and has great opportunity for advancement. NJISJ celebrates this accomplishment with today’s remarkable group of graduates.”
EPA’s Brownfields Program is funded by a $200,000 grant from the EPA. The Metro Newark Brownfields Training Program offers 14 weeks of training in academic and job readiness instruction with technical skills instruction to prepare participants for state licensure and employment in the field of environmental remediation. This graduation ceremony marks the end of the current grant cycle in which NJISJ has provided training to 54 individuals. The coursework includes HAZWOPER, lead abatement, asbestos removal, OSHA health and safety, confined space and brownfields issues.
EPA’s Brownfields Program empowers states, communities, and other stakeholders to work together to prevent, assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse brownfields. A brownfield site is real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. With the technical training and certifications this program provides, our traditionally hard-to-employ participants have a real opportunity to earn a living wage and begin a lifelong career.