STLCC Recruits New Students for its Environmental Job Training Program

By on November 20, 2018
Environmental Job Training Program

The Environmental Job Training Program offers students a chance to learn about environmental and occupational safety and health, but some want to make an impact in their communities or on their lives.

Participants like Cory Mayo, a recent graduate of the program, have felt motivated to help closer to home. “Most of the work I do is in schools and hospitals, so when you’re removing asbestos out of a school, you’re saving a kid from coming into contact with that, you’re really saving his life in a small sense,” he said.

Upon graduation, students have a thorough understanding of hazardous materials and how to handle potentially dangerous situations. After learning about hazard abatement and site remediation, participants in the program can apply for state licensing in Missouri and Illinois as lead and asbestos abatement workers.

“This course has impacted my life by many ways, like learning my rights to OSHA, learning exactly what a hazard is, what hazard bacteria is, and how to distinguish the two,” former student Martavis Hines said.

The rigorous, multi-scope training students undertake makes them more attractive to employers in the St. Louis and regional area. Approximately 92 percent of students from the last round of graduates found jobs in environmental remediation. Dr. Chris King, Director of St. Louis University’s Center for Environmental Education and Training (CEET), said the program serves as a pre-screening for area employers, giving them a hiring advantage.

Not only are there plenty of jobs in the environmental remediation field, but they provide sustainable wages, leading to bigger careers. Students have found work in a variety of locations working on various projects, ranging from emergency response to routine work in St. Louis neighborhoods.

“We’ve had students go on to remediate anthrax in Washington, DC at the Hart Building, respond to hurricanes in Louisiana, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, and respond to bird flu outbreaks in Nebraska,” King said.

Prior to class, Hines worked with lead paint on many occasions without realizing its harmful effects. “I was an average Joe just finding work and doing the work,” he said. “After taking this class I know what special precautions I have to take when doing so.”

The parties involved actively recruit people who are open to new opportunities, can face challenges and work under dirty or stressful conditions. “Anyone who has a moderate level of physical fitness and a desire to learn new things can be successful in the environmental remediation field,” King said.

The program helps students connect to the larger issue of environmental health and recognize environmental health hazards closer to home. “We hope that as students leave the program, they’ll become local ambassadors within their own families and communities to help people recognize hazards they might be dealing with,” King said.

Two and a half years after finishing the program, Mayo finds his work in environmental remediation more rewarding than previous jobs he’s held. “This put me on the path where I can look proudly at myself and look proudly at my kids and say I have a career. My kids can go to career day and say hey, my dad is a construction worker.”

STLCC and SLU are currently recruiting for Environmental Remediation Technician programs starting January, February and April 2019. Participants can expect to learn and grow on a career level, but it might also help on a personal level.

“I wanted something more for myself, I wanted to be a career man,” Mayo said. “I feel like this program put me on that course. They gave me the tools to build a house, but I went on and built the mansion.”

Please contact Rene Dulle via email at rdulle4@stlcc.edu or at 314-539-5296 to register for a free information session.

About Laura Davis

Laura Davis is a Marketing Communications Coordinator at St. Louis Community College’s Workforce Solution Group, which delivers non-credit continuing education opportunities, corporate training and community services to the St. Louis region.

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