Feb 13, 2012

Free environmental technician training offered at HACC’s Midtown site

HARRISBURG – Training for emerging environmental jobs in the cleanup and reuse of brownfields will be offered starting April 16 at the Midtown location of HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College.
Candidates for the federally funded program are displaced workers, the unemployed or underemployed, as well as low-income or minority residents who live in the Harrisburg, said Cheryl Dietz, HACC Workforce Training coordinator.
Potential students can find out more by attending one of two upcoming information sessions in Room 228 of Midtown 1, 1500 N. Fourth St. The sessions will be held from 6-7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 29, and Saturday, 11 a.m.-noon March 3. HACC representatives will answer questions about the free job training program, which will consist of an eight-week, 320-hour training cycle with classes meeting 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday, April 16-June 8.
To be eligible, a candidate must have a general education diploma (GED) or high school diploma, test at a 10th-grade math and reading level, have a valid driver’s license, have access to reliable transportation, be drug free and demonstrate an interest in the environment.
Successful graduates will receive certifications in all of the following: Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER), confined space entrant/attendant and supervisor, lead-based paint inspector, and asbestos inspector. Additional training will be offered in environmental site assessment, air and water quality, and environmental remediation techniques.
HACC is offering the training through a two-year, $199,890 grant, awarded through the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfields Program. Two classes were held last year at HACC-Harrisburg Campus with 35 graduates. Of this number, 26 have jobs (19 of them are in the environmental field) and four are continuing their education. A third class is under way in Lancaster. As part of the grant, HACC helps successful graduates find environmental jobs, and tracks those graduates for one year.
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, according to the EPA.
The EPA estimates there are 180 brownfield sites in the Lancaster area, and a combined total of 120 brownfield sites in Harrisburg and Steelton.
For more information or to register to attend an information session, contact Cheryl Deitz, HACC Workforce Training coordinator, at 221-1338 or via email at chdeitz@hacc.edu.