Program will train unemployed or underemployed young adults for stormwater jobs
For Immediate Release
Contact: Kristen Peterson, The Hatcher Group, 410-990-0284, firstname.lastname@example.org
ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (March 29, 2018) – Eight D.C. residents, aged 18 to 24, who have been struggling to find work have been selected to participate in a training program to build successful careers in the “green” stormwater industry. The Clean Water Certificate Training Program, which launched in Baltimore City in 2017, is now expanding to the Washington, D.C. area thanks to a partnership between the Latin American Youth Center River Corps program, the Center for Watershed Protection and funding from Prince Charitable Trusts.
“Not only will this program benefit the environment, the stormwater industry and the D.C. area economy, it will also change the futures of these eight youth,” said Neely Law, Director of Education and Training at the Center for Watershed Protection. “The Center has provided training to stormwater professionals for more than 25 years, and we are enthusiastic about extending our training to the under- and unemployed population. There is a need for skilled employees in the stormwater industry, and through this training, the Center, in partnership with workforce development programs, plays a critical role in connecting program graduates with a network of stormwater industry employers.”
Stormwater runoff is a major cause of water pollution in urban areas because the existing infrastructure – conventional drainage pipes – allows pollutants to drain into nearby rivers and bays. “Green” stormwater infrastructure helps reduce and treat polluted stormwater at its source with innovative methods of treatment such as roof gardens, permeable pavement and green streets, alleys and parking lots.
“We are excited to partner with the River Corps program and be a part of the important work they do to positively engage youth in green sector work and help them achieve a brighter future,” Law added. “Several of the Corps program participants are from Ward 7 and 8 in the Anacostia River watershed, which is in particular need of restoration, and many residents are in need of job opportunities. These youth will have the support, skills and knowledge they need, not only for career success, but also to make a real difference in helping to clean the watershed.”
Launched in 2017, River Corps is funded by the District of Columbia Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) and managed by the Latin American Youth Center. The program engages young adult residents of the District of Columbia through classroom and field-based experiences to build the next generation of environmental stewards and connect them to employment opportunities in green infrastructure and related fields.
While River Corps has offered a variation of this training in the past, this is the first time they have partnered with the Center. The five-day long technical stormwater training fits into River Corps’ comprehensive five-month workforce development program, which traditionally includes environmental enrichment, job readiness training, workplace safety, on-the-job training through community-based projects and connections to hiring employers. The Center’s training focuses on core skills and knowledge that readily translates to jobs in the stormwater industry.
“Our partnership with the Center is a great opportunity to provide our Corps members with enhanced training from a respected leader in watershed protection,” said Jacob Newman, Managing Corps Director, Latin American Youth Center. “The Clean Water Certificate Training Program provides critical training so that program participants further meet the needs to expand the skilled labor force of the stormwater industry.”
The Center’s training certificate program includes classroom learning, hands-on activities and field-based assessments to allow program participants to acquire core skills and knowledge in the construction, maintenance and inspection of green stormwater infrastructure. Recognizing River Corps’ program is the first time many participants are learning about stormwater, the Center provides a variety of teaching tools and training methods to enhance participants’ understanding of the material and job requirements. The five-day program will run from March 26-April 4.
“In the stormwater industry, the number of job openings greatly exceeds the number of qualified applicants,” said Liam O’Meara, President of Environmental Quality Resources LLC. “This growing industry needs a steady supply of applicants to keep up with demand. The Clean Water Certificate Training Program and the Center for Watershed Protection’s efforts to match un- or underemployed young adults to the industry is both impressive and laudable.”
Participants were selected through a rigorous application process. They were unemployed or underemployed at the time of enrollment and were selected for their drive, motivation and commitment to pursuing a green sector career. Participants will learn about construction, maintenance and inspection of green infrastructure as well as photo-monitoring of D.C. streams, invasive species management, litter abatement and inspection and maintenance of RiverSmart homes.
Funding for the Clean Water Certificate Training Program was provided by the Campbell Foundation, the France-Merrick Foundation and the Prince Charitable Trusts.
For more information, visit www.cwp.org/clean-water-certificate-training/.
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The Center for Watershed Protection, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that works to protect and restore our forest lands, streams, rivers, lakes, wetlands and bays from the impacts of land use activities. Founded in 1992, and headquartered in Ellicott City, Maryland, the Center is a national leader in advancing science-based solutions to prevent pollution in our waterways.