» Funding Sources

Introduction

Most people would agree that job development and training is a worthy cause. However, every organization ultimately needs financial assistance to carry out their plans. Funding sources are vital to the establishment and operation of job training programs which include resources for: Initially planning and organizing a training program. Developing and implementing a program that responds to community needs. Continued operation of the program. Equally important is the need for leveraged resources. Partners and supporters are able to provide services and in-kind support that often exceed the value of financial contributions. Leveraged assistance comes in many forms. Recruitment, screening, student support, and placement services from governmental employment agencies. Training services from education, municipal, and private sector partners. Equipment and facilities from education, municipal, and private sector partners. Technical assistance from other existing grant and assistance programs. That is why it is so important to know how to research and pursue a variety of funding sources and support partners at the federal, state, and local levels. This section provides examples of resources used by Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training (EWDJT) programs. Resources are divided into four categories. Federal government National corporations, foundations, and nonprofit organizations State and local government Local businesses, foundations, labor organizations, and community development corporations Based on interviews with job training coordinators, many communities were able to start environmental training programs because of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) EWDJT program. Startup funding from national corporations, foundations, and nonprofit organizations is difficult to find. Websites of national foundations often state that they are able to fund only a very small percentage of requests received. Hard dollars are critical, but once in operation, leveraged support is available to help operate and maintain programs. It is fair to say that all successful EWDJT programs receive leveraged support from a variety of sources. Program coordinators constantly stress the importance of tapping into resources and services already available in the community. EWDJT grants fund only specific environmental training related to programs outlined in the Requests for Proposals (RFP). For this reason, EWDJT programs need to reach out to other organizations such as community colleges, community assistance programs, and labor organizations for assistance with: Remedial education. Life skills training. Job readiness training. Construction skills. Ex-offender programs. VA programs. Student support. Student recruitment and placement (in some cases). Community-based organizations, which already work with disadvantaged people in most communities, are also involved with recruiting and screening students. Private companies provide leverage support by serving on advisory boards, and recommending and/or conducting portions of the environmental training. Some remediation firms, recognizing the value of the EWDJT program, provide facilities and equipment. Read More
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Additional Resources

A Guidebook of Financial Tools: Paying for Environmental Systems was revised in 2008 and is a product of a collaborative effort among the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Environmental Finance Program, the Environmental Financial Advisory Board, the university-based Environmental Finance Center Network, and other contributors. Section 9, Tools for Financing Brownfields Redevelopment, evaluates financing tools that the federal government, states, communities, and private sectors can use to finance Brownfields cleanup and redevelopment. The tools include: Traditional governmental assistance programs. Bold new initiatives that target Brownfields sites and disadvantaged communities. Innovative private sector arrangements. Risk limitation techniques. Tax incentives. Use of the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF). Most of the financing tools presented are deeply rooted in local community goals, and include the public and private sectors in a variety of different types of financing arrangements. For each of the 20 tools below, the Guidebook includes a description, actual use, potential use, advantages, limitations, and a reference(s) for further information. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Brownfields Program U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Brownfields Workforce Development U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Brownfields Grants U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Clean Water State Revolving Fund Brownfields Loans State Voluntary Cleanup Programs U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Round I and II Empowerment Zones U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: Brownfields Economic Development Initiative Grants National Brownfields Associations Environmental Risk Management in the Real Estate Industry Industrial Development Funds State Brownfields Programs Land Recycling Real Estate Investment Trusts Tax Abatements Tax Incentives for Brownfields Cleanup and Redevelopment Transferable Development Rights Environmental Insurance Landowner Liability Protections Clean Land Fund Community Development Financial Institutions EPA’s Brownfields website provides resources for: Basic information Competitive grant fund information Technical assistance, tools, and research State and tribal response programs Initiatives and partnerships Other resources Environmental Finance assists states, tribes, nonprofit organizations, and the private sector to identify financing mechanisms in support of environmental programs and policies that protect human health and the environment. Grants.gov provides organizations with the ability to search for federal government grant opportunities. Additional EPA guidance documents may be helpful when searching for additional leveraged resources, such as the 2015 Federal Brownfields Programs Guide and Setting the Stage for Leveraging Resources for Brownfields Revitalization. Read More
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Local Businesses, Foundations, Labor Organizations, and Community Development Corporations

Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training (EWDJT) programs who partner with existing job development and training programs have an easier time establishing and sustaining their program. The value of the resources extended by these programs cannot be understated. Those interested in establishing an EWDJT program should first examine existing community programs as potential partners. Often EWDJT programs will merge with these programs after they are established for continued operation. Environmental, engineering, construction, and remediation firms work on Brownfields sites and, therefore, may be interested in hiring graduates of EWDJT programs. These types of firms should be asked to serve on advisory boards and offer their input regarding the types of training to include. When they provide input on training, they are more likely to hire graduates from the program. Concentrate on those employers actually doing the remediation. For example, contact asbestos remediation firms rather than the general contractor. To find firms in your community, search the yellow pages of your area phone book or the Internet in the categories listed below. Engineers/Engineering Environmental Services and/or Remediation Demolition and Deconstruction Contractor Services and Manpower Support Emergency Response and Cleanup Transportation, Hauling, and Logistics You can also obtain information from the following environmental associations. Academy of Board Certified Environmental Professionals (ABCEP) Academy of Certified Hazardous Materials Managers (ACHMM) Air and Waste Management Association (A&WMA) Institute of Hazardous Materials Management (IHMM) National Association of Environmental Professionals (NAEP) Community Development Corporations (CDCs) are a type of nonprofit organization formed by residents, small business owners, congregations, and other local stakeholders to revitalize low- and/or moderate-income communities. CDCs typically produce affordable housing and create jobs for community residents. The National Congress for Community Economic Development (NCCED) is the trade association for community development corporations and the Community Economic Development (CED) industry. Because of their experience in grant submission and administration, partnering with a CDC as the lead grantee makes sense for less experienced organizations. Laborers-AGC Education and Training Fund is a joint labor-management training trust fund, formed by a partnership of the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) and the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), that provides comprehensive education and training programs to individuals and organizations within the LIUNA marketplace. Laborers-AGC has provided training programs to construction craft laborers working in highway and building construction, utility, and environmental remediation sectors of the industry. The Fund’s comprehensive, standardized courses prepare apprentices to join the workforce with core skills and an understanding of how to be safe and productive from the start of their careers. Laborers-AGC and its 70 affiliated training centers support the training needs of several hundred thousand LIUNA members and thousands of construction-related contractors by providing core skills training, new skills, and new career paths for workers. Health and safety is an integral part of the program. Laborers-AGC and affiliates offer courses that combine simulated work site activities with classroom instruction and problem-solving skills to prepare workers for the demands of hazardous waste site cleanup jobs and other environmental remediation fields. Labor organizations are important to EWDJT programs, especially in localities with large federal projects or where organized labor has a large representation in the community. Partnering with organized labor can provide assistance in establishing pre-apprentice programs and pathways to union employment. Read More
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State and Local Government

State and local government often have the responsibility of disseminating block grant funds. Sometimes this process is formalized and requires a long lead time to be included as part of the block grant. In other cases, however, discretionary funds exist that may be used depending on state and local needs. Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training (EWDJT) programs interested in accessing state and local funds need to investigate how block grants are administered in their community. A good place to start is in the mayor’s office in the departments of economic and/or community development, or human resources. Often, existing programs already established and supported by state-appropriated funds provide services and assistance that can leverage activities in EWDJT programs. City government refers to the city agency responsible for promoting community revitalization and economic development. Sometimes it is the office of economic development or the community development office. Cities can also access state and federal programs, such as funding for empowerment zones. Empowerment zones and other special community designations are important to prospective EWDJT grantees because they provide special consideration as part of the grant application process. Learn about and consider targeting communities with special circumstances such as low employment, economic and/or environmental distress, or plant closures. Those designations are best identified by working with the mayor’s office of economic development. Empowerment zones, enterprise communities, and renewal communities are often referred to as “EZs,” “ECs,” or “RCs.” These designated geographical areas relate to a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) initiative, which offers residents and businesses the opportunities and resources to overcome seemingly insurmountable problems. Empowerment zones and enterprise communities may be located in rural or urban areas. The EZ/EC designation allows communities access to billions of dollars in the form of tax incentives targeted at promoting economic development and creating new jobs. Many states and city governments have created “economic redevelopment” zones that often overlap with EZ/EC/RC zones. Additionally, many Brownfields are located within these same zones, which allow leveraging of local, state, and federal assistance. State environmental agencies can provide expertise and training in Brownfields site assessments, cleanup techniques, and environmental regulations. Most EWDJT advisory boards include representatives of state environmental agencies. For example, Maryland Department of the Environment served on the advisory board for Civic Works, providing technical advice on the job training curriculum, as well as conducting training in erosion and sediment control. The St. Louis office of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources served on an EWDJT advisory board that guided St. Louis Community College and St. Louis University in determining the types of training to include in their program. The North Carolina Department of Environmental and Natural Resources Division of Waste Management served on the advisory board for the city of Winston-Salem and conducted training on environmental regulations. Side benefits of having environmental agency representation are the connections and institutional memories that the representatives bring with them. Agency representatives can provide introductions to contractors, upcoming remediation projects, and potential financial and resource providers. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is a partner with the EPA and other federal agencies that are committed to helping communities prevent, assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse Brownfields. The USACE manages engineering, construction, and real estate programs for various federal agencies. USACE has established a network of Brownfields specialists throughout the country, and provides assistance through the: Hazardous, Toxic, and Radioactive Waste Center of Expertise (HTRW). U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Environmental Lab at Waterways Experiment Station (ERDC-WES). U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (ERDC-CERL). USACE is also involved in revitalization efforts at Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) sites and Formerly Used Defense Sites (FUDS). USACE provides technical assistance to communities for the assessment and evaluation of sites. Their expertise enables it to help communities address various challenges related to revitalization such as: Obtaining site assessment services and funds. Developing integrated plans to promote comprehensive community enhancements. Providing technical solutions for site assessment and restoration issues. The value of connections with the USACE is a pathway to remediation contractors, who may become potential employers and program supporters. Community colleges and four-year colleges and universities are generally willing to provide in-kind support by: Offering the use of their classroom facilities. Providing technical assistance in designing the job training curriculum. Conducting portions of the training. Some academic institutions have taken a more proactive role in screening, testing, and placement of EWDJT participants. Most community colleges and four-year colleges and universities have established development, accounting, and administrative staff. Those with experience in environmental-related training and federal grant administration are excellent candidates to take the lead as primary grantee. Read More
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National Corporations, Foundations, and Nonprofit Organizations

National corporations, foundations, and nonprofit organizations are potential funding and leveraging resources. When Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training (EWDJT) programs are searching for national foundation money, it is important to learn a foundation’s current funding priorities. Foundations may change their priorities from year-to-year, so it is best to request annual reports or visit the foundation’s website. Ford Foundation supports activities that are within its current interests and are likely to have wide effect. The W.K. Kellogg Foundation is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to support children, families, and communities as they strengthen and create conditions that propel vulnerable children to achieve success as individuals and as contributors to the larger community and society. Its founder, W.K. Kellogg, the cereal industry pioneer, established the Foundation in 1930. Goodwill Industries is a network of 207 community-based, autonomous member organizations that serve people with workplace disadvantages and disabilities by providing job training and employment services, as well as job placement opportunities and post-employment support. United Way invests in and activates resources to make the greatest possible impact in communities across the United States. The United Way system includes approximately 1,400 community-based United Way organizations throughout the country. Each is independent, separately incorporated, and governed by local volunteers. Community partners often include schools, government policy makers, businesses, organized labor, financial institutions, neighborhood associations, community development corporations, and the faith-based communities. Focus areas are identified at the local level and vary from community to community. Common focus areas include helping children and youth succeed, promoting self-sufficiency, building vital and safe neighborhoods, and supporting vulnerable and aging populations. Abell Foundation allocates grants to organizations that reach out to the disadvantaged in the Baltimore community and the region. In the past two decades, the Foundation has sharpened its focus to address complex challenges to break through the cycles of urban poverty. Chesapeake Bay Trust is a private, nonprofit grant-making organization created by the Maryland General Assembly in 1985 to promote public awareness and participation in the restoration and protection of the Chesapeake Bay and its Maryland tributaries. Private Philanthropy has become a popular way to support community projects. Websites such as GoFundMe provide organizations and individuals a mechanism for funding programs and projects of their choosing. GoFundMe was launched in 2010, raising over $2 billion last year. Several EWDJT programs have registered at the site. Family foundations should not be overlooked. Locally, many non-governmental organizations, trusts, charities, and foundations provide resources to community organizations. GuideStar, for example, lists over 20,000 nonprofit organizations and charities associated with environmental conservation and education. Read More
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Federal Government

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training (EWDJT) grants allow nonprofit and other organizations to recruit, train, and place predominantly low-income, minority, unemployed, and under-employed people living in areas affected by solid and hazardous waste. Residents learn the skills needed to secure full-time, sustainable employment in the environmental field, including assessment and cleanup. This allows local community residents to share in the economic benefits associated with Brownfields assessment and redevelopment. Many of the country’s environmental training programs targeted at disadvantaged community residents received their primary start-up funding from the EPA. As of July 2016, the EPA has awarded 273 job training grants exceeding $57 million since the program began in 1998. More than 10,100 participants have secured employment in the environmental field with an average starting hourly wage of $14.18. Every year, EPA awards EWDJT grants of up to $200,000 over three years. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), as one of the country’s larger cabinet level departments, has extensive funding and many agencies associated with employing, upgrading, and protecting the nation’s workforce. A few of the agencies and programs associated with workforce development and training are listed below. Employment and Training Administration (ETA)—Includes CareerOneStop Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Mine Safety Health Administration (MSHA) Veterans employment and training service (VETS) Youth programs People with disabilities programs Job Corps Dislocated worker programs To understand how these programs and funding streams operate, one must appreciate the massive size of the DOL. While many DOL programs are administered nationally, in most cases employment and workforce development assistance is provided to states to administer. Accordingly, much of the responsibility for workforce development and training goes to local Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs) or more recently Workforce Development Boards. (Refer to the State and Local Government section.) WIBs then determine how resources will be directed on a local level. For this reason, WIBs across the country can vary greatly in the programs and type of assistance they provide. It is important to learn what services and programs the local WIB provides and how supportive they will be in leveraging EWDJT activities. Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs) were created in 1998 when workforce development was reformed under the Workforce Investment Act. Long overdue, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) was signed into law on July 22, 2014. This legislation, serving as a reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act, was created to provide state and local areas the flexibility to collaborate across systems in an effort to better address the employment and skill needs of current employees, jobseekers, and employers by: Prescribing a stronger alignment of the workforce, education, and economic development systems. Improving the structure and delivery in the system to assist America’s workers in achieving a family-sustaining wage while providing America’s employers with the skilled workers they need to compete on a global level. WIOA basically updated the role of WIBs under the old legislation, using the same statewide and local systems, which: Increases the employment, retention, and earnings of participants; and Increases the attainment of recognized credentials by participants. The results of the new legislation will: Improve the quality of the workforce. Reduce welfare dependency. Increase economic self-sufficiency. Meet the skill requirements of employers. Enhance the productivity and competiveness of the nation. CareerOneStop Centers are designed to provide a full range of assistance to jobseekers under one roof. CareerOneStop Centers offer training referrals, career counseling, job listings, and similar employment-related services. The CareerOneStop Center System is coordinated by one of the DOL’s larger workforce programs, the Employment and Training Administration (ETA). ETA’s website provides a clickable map of CareerOneStop Centers for each state along with their websites and a list of state, regional, and local Center contacts. ETA also has a toll-free help line at (877) US-2JOBS. Customers can visit a Center in person or connect to the Center’s website for more information. CareerOneStop Centers are important to EWDJT programs in that they can recruit, screen, and test prospective applicants. However, it is important that EWDJT program staff use CareerOneStop Center assistance only as a supplement to their internal screening and testing process. Most EWDJT programs have several paths for entry into the environmental training program, one of which is the CareerOneStop Centers. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) provides support for environmental workers through the Environmental Career Worker Training Program (ECWTP) and the Brownfields Minority Worker Training Program (BMWTP). The primary aim of the NIEHS Worker Training Program (WTP) is to prevent work-related harm by assisting in the training of workers to protect themselves and their communities from exposure to hazardous materials. As part of this prevention strategy, the WTP funds two programs that address critical workforce development issues directly affecting disadvantaged worker populations: the ECWTP and the BMWTP. For additional information, the National Clearinghouse‘s services include disseminating technical information related to safety and health training development, organizing and documenting NIEHS WTP meetings and workshops, and analyzing research products to enhance and support ongoing and new initiatives. Some of the EWDJT grantees have received funding from both the EPA and NIEHS. For example, OAI, Inc. is funded by the EPA and NIEHS. The EPA and NIEHS worker training programs are fundamentally different in that the EPA program focuses on remediation and the NIEHS program focuses on worker health and safety. They are similar in that all EPA remediation training stresses the importance of health and safety as part of the remediation process. EPA and NIEHS grants have different application criteria, funding levels, and grant periods. EPA’s grant period is three years, and NIEHS’ grant period is five years. EPA grant competitions are held every year, and NIEHS grant competitions are held every five years and are larger in scope and more complex. It is important to note that these two programs provide similar training, but they cannot overlap in scope or target communities. AmeriCorps: Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) is a network of national service programs that engages more than 50,000 Americans each year in intensive service to meet critical needs in education, public safety, health, and the environment. Created in 1993, AmeriCorps is part of the Corporation for National and Community Service. AmeriCorps has three programs, one of which is AmeriCorps VISTA. VISTA members serve full-time for a year in nonprofit organizations, public agencies, and faith-based groups throughout the country. AmeriCorps also has a Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) that is part of Senior Corps, a network of national service programs that provides older Americans the opportunity to apply their life experience to meeting community needs. RSVP volunteers serve in a diverse range of nonprofit organizations, public agencies, and faith-based groups. While AmeriCorps and Senior Corps may have costs associated with the program, they can be an excellent source of experienced professionals. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) NOFA Forecast (Notice of Funding Availability) lists competitive grant opportunities. When funding is available, HUD will issue a NOFA, which is available on Grants.gov and HUD’s NOFA Forecast website. Each NOFA provides guidance on how to apply for funding. Opportunities for HUD funding is primarily in the areas of lead and asbestos remediation and training. HUD additionally provides assistance through block grants to states and communities. It is important to become familiar with state and local housing authorities especially for EWDJT programs that focus on lead and/or asbestos remediation. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and other federal agencies, similar to DOL, operate programs that may be useful to EWDJT programs. They occasionally award individual grants, but most funds are administered through larger programs that provide a multitude of services to disabled and general veteran populations. EWDJT programs recruit disabled and former veterans from these programs. Read More
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