Glens Falls Grabs EPA Job Training Grant
The EPA awarded the city of Glens Falls $200,000 to help those with long-term unemployment train for careers in environmental fields.
Ed Bartholomew, Economic Development Director for Glens Falls, says the grant is the second of its kind to be awarded to the city and is another strategy for reducing long-term unemployment. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics, Glens Falls has a 6 percent unemployment rate, higher than the statewide rate of 4.8 percent.
“It fills the gap for people in our community that are unemployed or underemployed and puts them in fields that have a potential for growth,” said Bartholomew.
The city is partnering with the New York State Department of Labor’s Warren County One Stop Career Center, which recently moved to downtown Glens Falls from neighboring Queensbury.
The Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Grant will be used to train 75 people for new environmentally-focused jobs and hopes to place at least 52 graduates from the program into new careers.
According to the EPA, the grants program will help place people into careers in areas such as brownfields assessment and cleanup, waste treatment and stormwater management, emergency response, electronics recycling, solar installation and green remediation.
Batholomew says applications will be made available for the job training program and interviews will begin by late summer. He anticipates three rounds of the training program over the next two years.
Glens Falls is one of 18 cities and organizations selected for the awards announced Thursday.
Rochester is the only other city in New York to receive such an award during this round. A grant was also awarded to Waterbury, Connecticut.
This is also the second time the city has been awarded the grant. Bartholomew said with this round of funding, the city will be able to increase capacity of the program from 50 to 75 students.
He said he was appreciative of EPA's recognition of the program's success.
“It’s one of the few agencies that will continue to re-award a grantee if they felt that the program has been successful to build on success. And I think with the learning curve that we had with the first grant, we’ll be able to move this program along in a quicker fashion,” said Bartholomew.
In a statement, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik commended EPA for prioritizing the project and said it will help people get back to work in the “cutting-edge clean energy field.” She said it also promotes clean energy sources in the region.
Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator of EPA’s Office of Land and Emergency Management, says through the program, trainees “have often overcome a variety of barriers to employment.”
Since 1998, 14,700 individuals have completed training nationwide. EPA says more than 10,600 have been placed in environmental jobs.