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Massive potential for HAZWOPER-related jobs on the horizon

Under President Biden’s Infrastructure Investment Jobs Act, $1.5 billion has been set aside for the cleanup of Brownfield and Superfund sites – two of the most well-known U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) programs that aim to restore contaminated lots and sites. This is the largest investment ever made in U.S. brownfields.

Brownfields are typically vacant industrial lots that are contaminated with hazardous substances or pollutants. Before these sites can be redeveloped, the must be cleaned up – and that cleanup comes with a hefty hundreds-of-thousands-of-dollars price tag.

Seeing the potential to create jobs and spur economic growth, the EPA launched Brownfield and Superfund programs in the early ‘90s to not only assist developers with cleanup costs, but to help build sites suitable for businesses, manufacturing facilities, residences and more.

In early February, 19 organizations were selected by the EPA for Brownfield grants totaling approximately $3.8 million to recruit, train and place individuals with the skills needed to gain employment in these fields. According to the EPA, “Rather than filling local jobs with contractors from distant cities, these organizations provide training and offer residents of communities historically affected by environmental pollution, economic disinvestment and brownfields an opportunity to gain the skills and certifications needed to secure local environmental work in their communities. Individuals typically graduate with a variety of certifications that improve their marketability and help ensure that employment opportunities are not just temporary contractual work, but long-term careers.”

Brownfield site workers and supervisors are required to have HAZWOPER safety and health training.

HAZWOPER training can include certification in: Lead and asbestos abatement; Hazardous waste operations and emergency response; Mold remediation; Environmental sampling and analysis; and Other environmental health and safety training.

While HAZWOPER training requirements vary per state and individual site, there are numerous HAZWOPER courses that can be completed both online and in-person, including:

Since the EPA’s funding program began, more than than 19,456 individuals have completed HAZWOPER training, and of those, more than 14,560 individuals have been placed in full-time employment in careers related to remediation and environmental health and safety.

With the potential for this market to boom in coming years, secure your HAZWOPER certification today to get ahead of the game. Head over to Easybook Training to find and book HAZWOPER training.