Jan 17, 2012

Free environmental technician training offered at HACC-Lancaster Campus

LANCASTER – Training for emerging environmental jobs in the cleanup and reuse of brownfields will be offered starting in March at the Lancaster Campus 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 Lancaster area, said Cheryl Dietz, HACC Workforce Training coordinator.
Potential students can find out more by attending an upcoming information session in the Community Room of the East Building on the HACC-Lancaster Campus, 1641 Old Philadelphia Pike. Attendees can choose to attend 6-7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 25, or 11 a.m.-noon Saturday, Jan. 28.
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, March 5-April 27.
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 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. As part of the grant, HACC helps successful graduates find environmental jobs, and tracks those graduates for one year.
Brownfield sites are abandoned or underused industrial and commercial facilities available for re-use 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, contact Cheryl Deitz, HACC Workforce Training coordinator, at 221-1338 or via email at chdeitz@hacc.edu.