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.

  1. Federal government
  2. National corporations, foundations, and nonprofit organizations
  3. State and local government
  4. 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.