Grant will help train workers to clean up contaminated areas

A local non-profit said today it will use $300,000 in grant money to train under-employed and unemployed workers to clean up contaminated property.

A proposed 52 students will take courses to qualify them to work on such sites, also known as brownfields.

In a press conference today, Regional EPA Administrator Karl Brooks and Kansas City Mayor Sly James presented the job-training grant to the Metropolitan Energy Center.

Two graduates from a similar environmental job training program spoke briefly about their experiences.

“You feel like you’re helping out sustainable living more so than just doing a job,” said Tim Shipley, who graduated from a job training program last year and is now employed.

The program will recruit from communities in urban Kansas City and western Independence and will likely start early next year.

It will offer two training tracks – environmental remediation or environmental inspection. It includes classes on hazardous waste operations, alternative treatment technologies and solid waste management