News Release - Rochester Receives $500,000 Federal Grant for Brownfields Job Training Program

(Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023) – The City of Rochester is among four organizations in New York State to receive a $500,000 grant through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Brownfields Job Training Program to clean up and transform blighted brownfield sites in the city. The federal grant is the single-largest investment in brownfields infrastructure under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. 

The City will use the funding to establish a new Brownfields Environmental Skills Training program that would build upon the success of its Rochester Environmental Job (REJob) program. The REJob program has effectively graduated more than 120 students who are currently employed in the environmental construction industry. 

“This federal grant is an important investment for the City of Rochester and its residents,” said Mayor Malik Evans. “I am extremely grateful to the EPA for helping us pursue our goals of creating a greener and more sustainable Rochester, and working toward environmental justice. Cleaning up brownfields in our community for future investment and supplying the environment-construction field with a trained workforce will greatly enhance our efforts to create a safe, equitable and prosperous Rochester, and to provide city residents with employment opportunities.” 

The City’s new Brownfields Environmental Skills Training program will train nearly 100 participants and place approximately 80 percent of them in environmental remediation careers. The training includes OSHA’s 40-hour Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response, Asbestos Handler/Worker Certification, Air Monitor/ Asbestos Project Monitor Certification, OSHA’s 10-hour Construction Site Safety, and Construction Inspection. Students who complete the program will earn up to one state and three federal certificates. 

The City has received four grants under the EPA Brownfields Job Training program to-date, totaling $1.1 million in funding.  

You can find video footage and more information of the City’s REJob program here