The final class of The Enterprise Center’s Environmental Job Training Program graduated Wednesday. Throughout the one-year program, 76 adult learners were trained, and of those trainees, more than half have secured full-time employment.
“Through the Environmental Job Training Program, The Enterprise Center has been able to further one of its core missions – community revitalization,” said Program Coordinator Donna Van Natten. “With many key community partners uniting in a common goal, this program has helped to diversify and expand the local economy and train residents in much-needed environmental positions.”
In 2012, the EPA awarded The Enterprise Center one of 21 national Environmental Workforce Development Job Training Grants to recruit, train and place unemployed or underemployed Chattanooga residents in skilled environmental positions. Trainees were equipped with strong skillsets and valuable certifications to aid in their search for full-time, gainful employment, officials said.
Program classes included OSHA certifications in hazardous waste operations and emergency response, construction and general industry. Additional training and awareness courses include aerial lift training; fall protection and confined space entry preparation; heavy equipment operation; first aid, CPR and Automated External Defibrillator education; lead-based paint awareness instruction; underground storage tank awareness; mold and asbestos remediation; and Class A Commercial Drivers License training.
Upon program completion, graduates received support from The Enterprise Center and Tennessee Career Center in obtaining full-time, long-term jobs in the Chattanooga community. Through concentrated marketing to local businesses specializing in green jobs, graduates secured one-on-one employer interviews and job fairs to aid with their employment search. Partners in the Environmental Job Training Program included the Tennessee Career Center, C&R Compliance, Chattanooga State Community College, SRT Safety and the Urban League of Greater Chattanooga.