Southern University at Shreveport receives EPA Grant for Environmental Workforce Training 

By: Rebecca Otte  |  Aug 10, 2020

Representatives from Southern University at Shreveport Louisiana (SUSLA), the City of Shreveport, community partners, the Louisiana Dept. of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) gathered on February 7, 2020, to celebrate SUSLA’s newly awarded Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Grant from EPA.

EPA Region 6 Regional Administrator Ken McQueen was on hand to present the award and celebratory check at the press conference: “With this grant, Southern University at Shreveport will focus on recruiting and training ex-offenders and work towards the Governor’s goal of cutting recidivism by 50% in the next 2 years. This grant will continue EPA’s long-term partnership with Southern University on job training programs for the last 20 years. I applaud Southern University’s commitment to ensuring the participants in its training programs become forces of change in their communities.”

SUSLA Check Presentation
EPA presents check to SUSLA for their Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Grant
Photo by Rebecca Otte

Over the next 3 years, Southern University at Shreveport plans to train 60 students with a job placement/ furthering education goal of at least 85%. The training program includes 290 hours of instruction in 40-hour HAZWOPER; OSHA 10-hour construction industry safety; OSHA 30 construction industry safety, renovation, repair, and painting; asbestos worker and abatement; forklift operator; aerial work platform operator; mold remediation; confined space entry; and lead abatement. Participants who complete the training will earn three state and nine federal certifications. Southern University at Shreveport is targeting residents of the low-income and high unemployment neighborhoods of Allendale, Ledbetter Heights, Lakeside, Cedar Grove, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Queensborough in Shreveport, with an emphasis on recruiting and training ex-offenders. Key partners include the City of Shreveport Department of Community Development, Goodwill Industries of North Louisiana Inc., Volunteers of America of North Louisiana, Biomedical Research Foundation of Northwest Louisiana, Caddo Parish Department of Juvenile Services, National Association of Women Judges, 1 Priority Environmental Services, and Abatement Services Inc. SUSLA will also be partnering with Grambling University to address mental health concerns for participants to help facilitate their success in the program.

"Southern University at Shreveport is pleased to receive an Environmental Workforce and Job Training Grant to address cleanups and provide specialized training," said Chancellor Rodney Ellis, Ed.D. “We have consistently demonstrated a proven track record with this type of training with over 85 percent placement rate of our trainees."

For additional information about the job training program, please contact Shanace Robinson (318) 670-7852.

EPA Brownfields Program

EPA's Brownfields Program empowers states, communities, and other stakeholders to work together to prevent, assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse brownfields. EPA Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Grant funds are provided to nonprofit organizations and other eligible entities to recruit and train unemployed and underemployed residents from solid and hazardous waste-impacted communities and place them in environmental jobs. To date, EPA has funded 305 job training grants totaling over $63 million through the Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training program. As of October 2019, more than 18,300 individuals have completed training, and of those, almost 13,700 have obtained employment in the environmental field, an average starting wage of over $14 an hour. This equates to a cumulative placement rate of approximately 75% since the program was created in 1998.