History of the HWWTP
Worker Education and Training Program
During the first five years of the NIEHS Worker Education and Training Program (WETP), the sixteen (16) initial awardees developed curriculum and started training programs throughout the country to help employers meet OSHA training requirements under 29 CFR 1910.120 . The model program encourages innovation for training difficult-to-reach populations by addressing issues such as literacy, appropriate adult education techniques, training quality improvement and other areas unaddressed directly by the marketplace. The program enhances rather than replaces private sector training responsibility by demonstrating new and cost-effective training techniques and materials.
In order to develop a better understanding of the labor market for hazardous waste workers, NIEHS contracted to study the labor market associated with hazardous waste cleanup work. This study is available online as HTML (http://tools.niehs.nih.gov/wetp/docs/reports/labormarketstudy/lmsreport.html) . Based on the actual experience at a number of hazardous waste sites across the nation, on-site remedial action alone will require between 1990-2010 three million-job years, or 4.5 billion hours, of labor. Site operations and maintenance work will require another one billion labor hours. Using the report's projections from EPA and DOE data, remediation job demand is expected to grow by 60 percent, or almost 300,000 jobs, from the 1990-1995 five year period through the five year period 1995-2000 -- from 447,000 to 740,000. Demand for jobs continues to grow by nearly another 300,000 in the 2000-2005 time intervals. During this peak period nearly 2 million jobs will require workers. As many as 7.5 million more workers will require training -- either basic or refresher. Demand remains high from 2005-2010 and then begins to taper off -- with a rather optimistic assumption that most cleanup activities will be completed in 25 to 30 years.
During 1991, Congress reauthorized the Superfund Program and extended the NIEHS worker training program for an additional three-year period (September 1, 1992 through August 31, 1994). After soliciting new applications through a November 1991 Federal Register announcement and a lengthy review by committees of outside experts and other federal agencies, in the resulting competition NIEHS announced eighteen (18) awards in September 1992 with over 70 participating institutions in this program. This new support expands the scope of NIEHS-supported training to include workers involved in generating and transporting hazardous materials and wastes, oil spill cleanup workers and workers involved in the cleanup of nuclear weapons facilities.
In 1995, NIEHS conducted another competition and made 18 awards for the HWWTP, for a five-year period (1995-2000). During 1999, NIEHS released a program announcement for the WETP requesting applications to support training activities over a five-year period (FY 2000-2004). After a lengthy review by committees of outside experts and other federal agencies, in a resulting competition, NIEHS announced seventeen (17) new awards for the HWWTP in September 2000 with over 80 participating institutions in this program.
During 2004, NIEHS released a program announcement for the WETP requesting applications to support training activities over a five-year period (FY 2005-2010). After a lengthy review by committees of outside experts and other federal agencies, in a resulting competition, NIEHS announced seventeen (17) new awards for the HWWTP in September 2005 with over 80 participating institutions in this program. The funding to the awardees will support the development of model programs for the safety and health training of workers engaged in activities related to hazardous materials and waste generation, removal, containment, transportation and emergency response.