WTP Cooperative Agreement Awardee
Principal Investigator / Institution
Ebony Turner, Ph.D.
Interim Principal Investigator
Deep South Center for Environmental Justice
2601 Gentilly Boulevard
New Orleans, Louisiana 70122-3043
Robert Bullard, Ph.D.
- Texas Southern University
The Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Consortium is led by the Dillard University Deep South Center for Environmental Justice in New Orleans, Louisiana. Their partners are Texas Southern University, Houston, Texas; the Green Door Initiative, Detroit, Michigan; Harambee House, Inc., Savannah, Georgia; and Unity in the Family Ministry, Pensacola, Florida.
The Dillard University Deep South Center for Environmental Justice Hazardous Waste Worker Training Center provides training to hazardous material and waste workers who may perform jobs covered by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) standard, and assists employers with complying with the HAZWOPER standard. The Consortium’s goal is unique in that its emphasis is on underserved populations in both its Hazardous Waste Worker Training Program (HWWTP) and its Environmental Career Worker Training Program (ECWTP).
The HWWTP has been designed to provide model occupational safety and health training for workers who are or may be engaged in activities related to hazardous waste removal, containment, or chemical response. The emphasis, however, is on servicing workers of entities where health and safety training is critical to the worker’s well-being and possibly the safety and health of the public, but due to circumstances beyond the individual worker’s control, the worker is unlikely to receive sufficient training at either the quality or quantity needed to ensure safety and health. Such entities include emergency responders and city workers in small municipalities or cities where budgeting restraints or working conditions (such as no release time) greatly reduces or eliminates the possibility of training. Volunteer fire departments and small county police forces, city health department employees, port authority workers, and mosquito control division employees are examples of workers the Consortium has trained. Additionally, HBCUs with smaller budgets have been shown to receive some of the highest fines for noncompliance with applicable regulations. Small minority and disadvantaged businesses typically lack the capital to participate in high-cost compliance training programs. HWWTP training will occur in New Orleans, Louisiana; Atlanta and Savannah, Georgia; Detroit, Michigan; and HBCUs and minority small businesses in the Southeastern area.
The ECWTP will deliver comprehensive worker training to increase the number of underrepresented and disadvantaged minority adults employed in the fields of environmental restoration, hazardous materials, and construction. The goals for this program are:
- To serve underrepresented and disadvantaged adults living near hazardous waste and/or contaminated property at risk of exposure to ambient hazards.
- To provide additional pre-employment services that are inclusive of basic skills (i.e., study skills, math, reading, life skills) to increase program retention and completion.
- To successfully place trainers in jobs in the environmental restoration and construction fields.
The added value of this training is not just that it increases sustainable employment opportunities for residents of beleaguered communities engulfed in situations of poverty and pollution, but that investing in these particular individuals promotes economic stability, addresses health disparities, and advances environmental justice. The ECWTP will deliver comprehensive worker training in New Orleans, Louisiana; Houston, Texas; Detroit, Michigan; and Pensacola, Florida.
- August 1, 2015 - July 31, 2020 (HWWTP, ECWTP)
- U45 ES010664-16 (HWWTP, ECWTP)
Other Participating Organizations
- Deep South Center for Environmental Justice (http://dscej.org/)
- Green Door Initiative (http://www.greendoorinitiative.org/)
- Harambee House, Inc.
- Texas Southern University (http://www.tsu.edu/)
- Unity in the Family Ministry