Center trains underemployed people in 'green jobs'

Center trains underemployed people in 'green jobs'

August 20th, 2011 by Carey O'Neil in Business Around the Region

Contributed by the Regional Planning Agency Steve Lamb, right, teaches Neal Bell how to safetly use a lift during the first round of brownfield recovery training.

Photo by Contributed Photo/Times Free Press.

* What: Free training in environmentally friendly jobs for the unemployed and underemployed

* Company: The Enterprise Center

* Location: 1250 Market St., Chattanooga; email: noel_m@theenterprisectr.org

* How it's green: The Environmental Protection Agency granted The Enterprise Center $300,000 to train people in areas such as brownfield recovery and development, solar panel installation and environmental health and safety.

* Why do it this way?: Companies are often required to pay for employees to get the type of training that will be offered by The Enterprise Center later this year. Training job seekers in these areas will save companies the cost of sending employees to training and give marketable, in-demand skills to the unemployed. Any companies looking to hire certified environmental workers should contact Maria Noel, manager of community revitalization.

* What's the cost?: $300,000 from the EPA and at least $20,000 of time and money investments from The Enterprise Center and other donors

* Advice for others considering green jobs: Hamilton County residents who apply starting in September but don't get one of the program's 75 slots can reapply for programs The Enterprise Center hopes to develop in the future with Chattanooga State Community College.

* Is environmentalism an essential part of the business and why?: With brownfields and lead paint and asbestos-filled buildings plaguing many cities, the training will help develop underutilized areas while giving locals skills that are marketable across the country.

-- Compiled by Carey O'Neil, who may be reached at coneil@timesfreepress.com or 757-6525.