Organizational partners may be included in day-to-day operations or simply to provide support services to program participants. They may have a fiscal interest in the Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training (JT) program or serve as a nonfinancial leveraged partner. Partners share a common goal and serve a key role in program sustainability.
According to the EPA, the goals of the Brownfields Initiative are:
- Protecting the Environment: Addressing Brownfields to promote the health and well-being of America’s people and environment.
- Promoting Partnerships: Enhancing collaboration and communication is essential to facilitate Brownfields cleanup and reuse.
- Strengthening the Marketplace: Providing financial and technical assistance to bolster the private market.
- Sustaining Reuse: Redeveloping Brownfields to enhance a community’s long-term quality of life.
The benefits of strong partnerships are many.
Networking: As in job development, networking provides invaluable introductions to others interested in the same objectives as the JT program.
Public Awareness: Partnerships with other organizations serve a public relations purpose in assisting communications with other potential stakeholders.
Advocates and Pathways: With limited resources, JT programs need to demonstrate inclusion and coordination with other programs. Partnerships can serve as advocates and pathways to new potential partners. Briefings and meetings with public officials can be arranged with introductions from partners. Organizations familiar with accomplishments of the JT program can testify regarding the contributions and value of the program to the community.
Communication: Opening channels of communication and developing relationships with other organizations aid in building additional leveraging partnerships. Common interests and goals developed during informal affiliations can lead to mergers; shared resources; and helps to create stronger, more sustainable organizations.
Information exchange: One of the greatest benefits of partnerships comes in the form of information exchange. The combined experience, skills, and knowledge base of many is always greater than that of one.
It’s not always necessary to partner with organizations having similar goals or objectives. Partners can share ideas, resources, and solutions to barriers encountered when sustaining the JT program.