Pacific Southwest, Region 9
Serving: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, Tribal Nations
Federal Stimulus Dollars Help Train Disadvantaged Richmond Residents
for Jobs in Renewable, Clean Energy
Senior EPA Officials Tour Construction Training Site, Stimulus Funding at Work in the Bay Area
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency held a press conference on Thursday, April 8th to discuss the details of a $500,000 EPA Brownfields job training grant to Richmond, California. The City of Richmond’s job training program consists of training in a variety of environmental, green technology and construction skills. During the next three years, hundreds of graduates will receive certifications that will help them secure employment in the fast growing sectors of renewable and clean energy.
The Recovery Act funding will help train 128 residents and place 102 graduates during the three-year grant. Each training cycle will last for 10 weeks and include 250 hours of training that includes 40-hour hazardous material operation, pre-apprenticeship construction skills, lead and asbestos abatement, mold remediation abatement, refinery safety, energy efficiency, solar technology/installation and electrician skills training.
RichmondBUILD has established strong connections with a broad range of environmental and green employers in the regions, construction trade unions and community based organizations that provide support to participants in the obtaining and maintaining employment. Life skills and case management will be provided for all trainees. Applicants seeking entry into the program must be a Richmond resident, 18 years age or older, valid CA driver’s license, high school diploma or GED, social security card, pass a drug and fitness test and be willing to work hard.
RichmondBUILD Training Facility
RichmondBUILD’s Pre-apprenticeship Construction Skills and Green Jobs Training & Career Academy was first developed in April 2007 to create employment and career opportunities for Richmond residents and to implement a strategy for reducing violence in the community. It has quickly become a model of effective and broad public/private partnership that is focused on developing talent and skills in the high wage construction and renewable energy fields.
RichmondBUILD has received national and international recognition as an exemplary green-collar job training program. The Program won the 2008 FBI’s Director’s Community Leadership Award, selected as a semi-finalist for the 2009 Harvard Innovations in American Government award, and recently was awarded a Conservation Champion award by Senator Barbara Boxer. The 14-week intensive program (10 weeks which are funded by EPA) includes training in safety, first aid/CPR, power tools, framing, sheet rock, basic electrical, roofing, scaffolding, basic plumbing, basic welding, eco literacy, energy efficiency and solar installation training. To date, RichmondBUILD graduates have a 90 percent placement rate with an average wage of $18.33 an hour. The waiting list for entry is over 350 applicants long.