Worker Training Program

ECWTP Selected as participant in the Justice40 Initiative


The Environmental Career Worker Training Program (ECWTP) provides opportunities for individuals from disadvantaged and underserved communities to obtain careers in environmental cleanup, construction, hazardous waste removal, and emergency response. To date, more than 14,500 people have been trained by the program's partners, which include community colleges, historically black colleges and universities, and apprenticeship programs, among others. ECWTP has maintained a high job placement rate of 70%, and it has provided an economic boon to communities across the country while advancing environmental justice.

Worker driving forklift
ECWTP trainee during forklift training in Melbourne, Florida. (Photo courtesy of Sustainable Workplace Alliance). 

ECWTP is proud to be selected  as a participant in the new Justice40 Initiative. This whole-of-government initiative aims to deliver 40 percent of the overall benefits from Federal investments in climate change, clean energy, clean transportation, affordable housing, water infrastructure, workforce development, and pollution remediation to disadvantaged communities. ECWTP was selected because of its strong track record of helping unemployed, underemployed, homeless, and formerly incarcerated people find good jobs and become productive members of society. Learn more about the program and the many underserved communities who have benefited from it by reading this fact sheet (403KB) . 

Life Skills and Job Readiness Training

Life skills and other pre-employment training are a fundamental component of the ECWTP. This instruction provides trainees with the personal and interpersonal skills required to deal with the challenges of everyday life and to obtain and sustain employment. Life skills curricula address topics such as:

  • Confidence building
  • Cultural diversity 
  • Financial responsibility
  • Job readiness/employment success
  • Stress and time management 
  • Work relationship dynamics

Some ECWTP-supported training also includes enrollment in apprenticeship programs. Apprenticeships provide trainees with on-the-job training in a specific trade and prepare the trainee for a long-term career in the profession. Mentoring and counseling are also an important part of the ECWTP, as they help trainees to develop direction, confidence, and positive attitudes toward job training and work.

Success through Partnerships

Partnerships are integral to the success of the ECWTP. Program awardees have developed partnerships with government agencies, community and faith-based organizations, academia, labor unions, and employers to help support ECWTP recruitment, training, and employment opportunities.

ECWTP Produces Positive Results


An economic impact study (1MB) showed that an annual federal investment of $3.5 million in the ECWTP generated a $100 million return. The economists who authored the report found fiscal benefits in the program's positive effect on earnings that also lead to additional revenue through taxes, reduced costs related to workplace injury, a reduction in hiring costs for businesses, decreased costs related to crime, and fewer social program transfers.

A new video from ECWTP awardee Sustainable Workplace Alliance, features stories from graduates in their Career Launch Program. In this video, graduates share how the program has impacted their careers.

ECWTP Awardees

The following organizations are funded through May 2025. In support of Justice40, NIEHS WTP expanded funding for the ECWTP on June 1, 2022, for a total of $4,258,886 for FY22 to add new pilot sites and to train more students. The additional funding of $713,766 was awarded to five of the funded organizations.