EPA Selects Coalfield Development Corporation to Receive $199,790 in Brownfields Job Training Grants to Build a Skilled Environmental Workforce, Regional Administrator Ortiz Tours Black Diamond Location in Huntington, West Virginia

Huntington, WV. – On Thursday, EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Adam Ortiz, along with representatives from the federal and state EPA toured the Black Diamond Location in Huntington. Shortly after the trip, Ortiz, who was joined by Coalfield CEO Brandon Dennison and Huntington Mayor Steve Williams, announced $200,000 in federal grants was being awarded to the non-profit.

“The Brownfields Job Training program advances EPA’s focus on environmental justice efforts by providing funding for curriculum development to train local unemployed and under-employed people,” said EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Adam Ortiz. “These Brownfields job training opportunities enable companies like Coalfield to take advantage of the jobs created by the assessment and cleanup of brownfield sites in their own communities, by filling local environmental jobs with local people.”

With this new grant award, Coalfield will offer participants basic and advanced levels of training based on previous certifications. The courses include Hazardous Waste (HAZWOPER), OSHA, and Forklift training as well as training in asbestos, lead and mold awareness, first aid, sustainable deconstruction, composting for reclamation and environmental justice. In total, Coalfield’s goals are to enroll a total of 120 students with 75 graduating, 40 students obtaining employment related to the training and 22 pursuing higher education.

Funded through the Agency’s Brownfields Job Training Program, these grants provide funding to organizations that are working to create a skilled workforce in communities where assessment, cleanup, and preparation of brownfield sites for reuse activities are taking place. Individuals completing a job training program funded by EPA often overcome a variety of barriers to employment. Many of these individuals are from historically under-served neighborhoods and reside in the areas affected by environmental justice issues.

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. This includes certifications in:

  • Lead and asbestos abatement
  • Hazardous waste operations and emergency response
  • Mold remediation
  • Environmental sampling and analysis
  • Other environmental health and safety training


Coalfield Development is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization headquartered in Wayne, West Virginia focusing on rebuilding the Appalachian economy through social enterprise creation, job training, and community-based real-estate development.

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