EPA awards PUSH Buffalo $200,000 to train environmental workforce

Mar 11, 2021

PUSH. Buffalo is being awarded $200,000 by the United States Environmental Protection Agency to help job training and workforce development in communities impacted by environmental neglect. PUSH’s mission focuses on affordable housing, expanding local hiring opportunities and advancing economic and environmental justice.

A brownfield site in Western New York
Credit WBFO News

It is one of 18 organizations across the country to win the award this year, with total funds amounting to $3.3 million. The workforce training and development would revolve around the cleaning up of brownfield sites.

EPA Acting Regional Director Walter Mugdan said the end goal is to create sustainable jobs for unemployed and underemployed people in the environmental preservation sector.

E.P.A. Acting Regional Director Walter Mugdan
Credit Thomas O'Neil-White

“These jobs reduce contamination and build more sustainable futures for their communities,” he said. “The individuals completing a job training program funded by the EPA typically graduate with a variety of certifications that improve their marketability and help ensure that employment opportunities are not just temporary contractual work, but long-term careers.”

PUSH Deputy Director of Administration Dawn Wells-Clyburn said those funds will help her organization in their effort to eliminate problems associated with racial and environmental justice.

“We believe that the transition to a renewable economy is inevitable,” she said, “but justice is not.”

Wells-Clyburn said PUSH is planning on building a 3,000-sq.-ft. sustainability workforce training center, which will house all of the training programs they currently run.