Principal Investigator / Institution

Robert Bullard, Ph.D.
Co-Principal Investigator
Tel 713-313-6849
[email protected]
Texas Southern University
Beverly Wright, Ph.D.
Co-Principal Investigator
Tel 504-272-0956
[email protected]
Deep South Center for Environmental Justice

Program Description

Deep South Center for Environmental Justice
Texas Southern University

The Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Consortium is co-led by Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas and the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice in New Orleans, Louisiana. Consortium partners include the Green Door Initiative, Detroit, Michigan; and Unity in the Family Ministry, Pensacola, Florida.

The Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Consortium 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 wellbeing and possibly the safety and health of the public but, due to circumstances beyond the individual worker’s control, he/she 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; 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:

  1. To serve underrepresented and disadvantaged adults living near hazardous waste and/or contaminated property at risk of exposure to ambient hazards.
  2. 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.
  3. To successfully place trainers in jobs in the environmental restoration and construction fields.

This specialized training increases sustainable employment opportunities for residents of vulnerable communities faced with poverty and pollution concerns, promotes economic stability, and addresses environmental health disparities. The ECWTP will deliver comprehensive worker training in New Orleans, Louisiana; Houston, Texas; Detroit, Michigan; and Pensacola, Florida.

Project Duration

  • August 1, 2020 - May 31, 2025 (HWWTP, ECWTP)

Grant Numbers

  • U45 ES010664 (HWWTP, ECWTP)

Other Participating Organizations