Team members of Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training (EWDJT) programs may have varying areas of expertise. Background and experience may be in project management; case work; or social, environmental, or technical services. However, it is not always possible for all programs to have all areas of expertise available on their staff. These missing areas can be gained through interaction with partners, stakeholders, and service providers. Experienced partners and service providers are usually familiar with contacts, websites, and other sources of technical assistance in their specialty areas.
Successful EWDJT programs work with numerous governmental and community technical specialists. Program managers do not have to be experts in environmental technology or health and safety, but it is important that they are familiar with the technology and background associated with Brownfields. Learn to talk the language and understand basic concepts. As with most government programs, acronyms provide a shorthand way of describing organizations, legislation, and concepts. See Commonly Used Environmental Acronyms.
“Brownfield Basics” is a term often used to describe a working knowledge and familiarity with Brownfields legislation, regulations, laws, history, and relationships to stakeholders and the community. It is not necessary for all staff members to become technical experts, but familiarization with program goals and objectives provide important background knowledge for promoting EWDJT to students, employers, stakeholders, and supporters.
The first place to begin learning Brownfield Basics is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website. This website directs visitors to a variety of information resources, announcements, and opportunities related to environmental remediation.
There are three excellent resource groups that should be explored in the early stages of EWDJT program development.
- Federal environmental and health agencies such as EPA, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and grants.gov
- State environmental agencies
- Local government offices
Many of the resources discussed in this chapter are available on the Internet. However, personal contact and relationships, especially on the local level, are most important in the planning and execution of EWDJT programs.