Students Find Environmental Remediation Classes Rewarding

By on December 19, 2018
Environmental Remediation Classes

It took Breanna Woods’ full commitment to complete the Environmental Remediation program at St. Louis Community College – and it was worth it.

Woods enrolled in the environmental remediation program because she knew family members who went on to become very successful in the field. She’s not the only one. Dr. Chris King, Director of St. Louis University’s Center for Environmental Education and Training (CEET) and instructor, says many students enroll in the environmental remediation class because they’ve heard about the value of the program. “We’ve become a very important resource for contractors and employers in the St. Louis and regional area,” he said.

The class covers knowledge necessary to safely work in the environmental remediation field and to pass exams for certifications in both Missouri and Illinois. With St. Louis region employers in mind, the coursework is carefully curated to ensure students are prepared to work in their communities. “It made me more aware of my surroundings and what to look for when I’m working,” Woods said. “Now I’m looking at everything like, ‘Is that a hazard?’”

Not only did Woods learn about environmental hazards, but she learned how to use open communication and work on a team. Never thinking of herself as the type to mingle, she now speaks about how important her fellow classmates were in her classroom success. “Interacting with them made me want to come,” she said.

Woods started her environmental career at Clean Harbors doing asbestos abatement and demolition. She has since become a member of the laborers union and landed a position with SAK. Now Woods pours underground concrete tunnels for the Metropolitan Sewer District’s Project Clear, an initiative to improve water quality and alleviate wastewater concerns in the St. Louis region.

As a second level apprentice, Woods earns $24 an hour and loves her job. She is just one student who doesn’t want this education to ever go to waste. Fellow student, Martavis Hines, explained how his experience in the class will help his construction career. “I come from a strong carpentry background so now I have the choice to go straight into hazardous material or go back to my carpentry background,” he said.

King says the broad field welcomes various opportunities for different people and the skills and qualifications that they bring to the table. The classes run six weeks at a time with the spring cohorts running in January, February and April.

For Woods, taking the class was a no-brainer in order to advance her career. She has even been an inspiration to her sister, who will be a student in the class this year. “I didn’t feel like it was so beneficial until I saw other people succeeding and that’s what it takes, … it takes you actually seeing somebody else do it. You just can’t take someone’s word,” she said. “I’m hoping I’ll be motivation for the next person.”

For more information about the program, including upcoming classes and how to get started, please contact Rene Dulle at 314-539-5296 or rdulle4@stlcc.edu. You can also find out more at stlcc.edu/envirotech.

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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