Learn About The Superfund Job Training Initiative
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SuperJTI Program Services
The Superfund Job Training Initiative (SuperJTI) program combines extensive classroom instruction with hands-on training exercises for each participant. SuperJTI graduates have the technical skills to work on a broad range of construction projects, other environmental remediation projects and cleanup projects at Superfund sites.
Courses from recent SuperJTI trainings include:
- Workshops on leadership, conflict resolution and environmental justice
- Interviewing and interpersonal skills
- Problem solving
- Money management
- Worker protection training
- Hazardous material cleanup
- Asbestos and lead paint abatement
- General construction
- CPR/first aid
- Pre-apprenticeship trades training
EPA offers SuperJTI training through its Technical Assistance Services for Communities (TASC) contract, which provides training and independent technical assistance to communities. TASC provides assistance to communities affected by hazardous waste sites regulated by the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, commonly known as Superfund, and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.
Community partners are an integral part of SuperJTI. At each project, SuperJTI hires a local community-based organization or individual, often called the primary community partner, to assist with implementing the project on the ground. In the past, SuperJTI has hired local nonprofit organizations, counties, tribes, environmental groups and environmental justice organizations as primary community partners. The groups hired by SuperJTI are very active locally, with a significant stake in the outcomes of the projects in their communities
SuperJTI’s primary community partners assist with projects from start to finish. In conjunction with SuperJTI staff, it is the responsibility of the primary community partner to:
- Conduct outreach and recruitment in the community near the Superfund site where cleanup is occurring.
- Assist with screening of candidates for the program.
- Provide oversight and counseling to trainees during the training program.
- Provide follow-up services to each graduate following job placement for a period of six months to one year.
The primary community partner is essential to the success of SuperJTI projects. They provide valuable community insights as well as local contacts, information resources, logistical support and guidance on how SuperJTI can best reach the target demographic for the program. Overall, the primary community partner acts as a champion for SuperJTI and represents the project in the community.
In this section:
- What is EPA's role in the SuperJTI program? What does the Agency do?
- Can I recommend a community to EPA as a potential SuperJTI site?
- How can I sign up for SuperJTI training?
- Can I select the type of training that I receive under SuperJTI?
- If I am employed at a Superfund site after receiving SuperJTI training, will I be required to work with hazardous waste? Is it dangerous?
- How much does the training cost? How long does it last?
- Are SuperJTI trainees guaranteed a job after completing the training?
- What happens to workers employed at Superfund sites after the cleanup is completed?
- What are some methods and techniques used in previous programs that can help ensure a successful SuperJTI?
What is EPA's role in the SuperJTI program? What does the Agency do?
EPA offers SuperJTI training through its Technical Assistance Services for Communities contract. This national contract provides job training to communities affected by hazardous waste sites regulated by the Superfund and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act programs, as well as federal facility and tribal removal sites.
EPA’s Office of Superfund Remediation and Technology Innovation manages the contract. EPA also uses its community outreach program to create partnerships with local businesses, universities, community and social service organizations and other federal agencies to develop and support job training.
Can I recommend a community to EPA as a potential SuperJTI site?
The Technical Assistance Services for Communities contract can be accessed by EPA Headquarters and EPA regional office hazardous waste programs, with the exception of the Brownfields program, which has its own job training program. EPA staff or communities [themselves] can recommend candidate communities for SuperJTI services. For communities interested in SuperJTI services, the next step is to contact the appropriate SuperJTI National Program Manager. The National Program Manager will work with the community to clearly define the type of training needed.
How can I sign up for SuperJTI training?
Because SuperJTI has such a local focus, potential candidates for the program would likely not be able to sign up unless they live in a community located near a site where a SuperJTI training is being held. To learn more about nearby SuperJTI trainings, contact the appropriate SuperJTI National Program Manager for further details on how to sign up for training at any information sessions offered in conjunction with that effort.
Can I select the type of training that I receive under SuperJTI?
The training offered under SuperJTI usually falls into one or more of the following three categories: industry-related training, professional development/pre-employment training and remediation coursework. The training curriculum is often finalized before trainees are identified, and completion of all portions of the training is generally required to receive certification. Check with training coordinators at the orientation/information sessions for details.
If I am employed at a Superfund site after receiving SuperJTI training, will I be required to work with hazardous waste? Is it dangerous?
SuperJTI trainees may work with hazardous waste as part of site cleanup activities. However, given state-of-the-art equipment and comprehensive safety precautions, the risk associated with working with these materials is low. Many trainees will take positions as equipment operators, construction workers or other jobs where the likelihood of coming into contact with hazardous materials is very small. Trainees learn how to use state-of-the-art protective clothing and other safety equipment if there is a chance that they will come into contact with hazardous materials.
How much does the training cost? How long does it last?
SuperJTI training is provided at no cost to trainees. Additional training-related benefits are sometimes available through local partnerships. Generally, SuperJTI trainings last from three to six weeks, depending on the courses provided.
Are SuperJTI trainees guaranteed a job after completing the training?
SuperJTI is designed to give trainees some of the tools needed to improve their chances of being employed; earning and keeping the job are the responsibility of each individual. While the SuperJTI process facilitates job placement, there are no guarantees. To maximize opportunities to place trainees in jobs soon after completion of training, local partnerships strive to coordinate training with the availability of jobs in the community (e.g., at a Superfund site cleanup).
What happens to workers employed at Superfund sites after the cleanup is completed?
After the cleanup is completed, trainees will have a solid entry on their résumés that will make them more marketable in the environmental field. Ideally, the contractor that first hired them will seek to retain them as full-time staff to work on other projects. In other cases, there may be employment opportunities with other contractors at nearby Superfund cleanups. In addition, there may be ongoing lead or asbestos abatement occurring in the community, for which trainees may be qualified. The goal of SuperJTI is to help participants get a "foot in the door." The rest is up to each individual. Past SuperJTI trainees have said that "you get out of the process what you put in." If training graduates work hard and show dedication to doing a good job, employment opportunities should be available.
What are some methods and techniques used in previous programs that can help ensure a successful SuperJTI?
SuperJTI staff can help ensure successful trainings by incorporating the following methods and techniques:
- Recruiting aggressively. Meeting with potential trainees face-to-face as often as possible to assess their level of interest helps ensure that the trainees are enthusiastic and committed to improving their skills.
- Identifying all potential local partners. Local community groups and activists have familiarity with each community and its residents, which enables them to serve as effective liaisons. They also have resources that could be shared to assist with training development and delivery.
- Choosing training locations near a site. Many trainees may not have access to a vehicle or public transportation. Establishing a training location near a site helps ensure trainee participation and engagement.
- Using innovative techniques to encourage class attendance and participation. The use of videos, interactive role-playing exercises and site tours can increase trainees' interest and help them learn more than they would in a purely classroom/lecture setting.
- Publicizing the program early in the process. Getting the word out through local media and other outlets helps ensure high attendance and participants with diverse backgrounds at the orientation sessions. Early recruitment attracts highly motivated individuals to participate in the process.
- Providing ways for participants to interact with on-site workers. Visiting a site and interacting with workers allows trainees to get a first-hand perspective on SuperJTI graduates’ potential jobs and responsibilities.
If you are interested in learning more about the SuperJTI program, please contact a SuperJTI National Program Manager: