For Immediate Release
May 16, 2023

New Orleans, LA –  The Deep South Center for Environmental Justice (DSCEJ) is pleased to celebrate the graduation of the Spring 2023  Environmental Career Worker Training Program (ECWT) class. This program focuses on delivering comprehensive training to disadvantaged and underrepresented minority workers who have not historically had access to environmental career training. The goal of the program is to diversify the field with an increasing number of people from communities disproportionately impacted by environmental injustice.

Over the course of 12 weeks DSCEJ trainers use their knowledge and expertise in the areas of environmental, occupational and health, safety, and emergency and disaster preparedness and response to prepare 25 trainees across three sites, New Orleans (lead site), Houston and Pensacola.

The training is split into two parts, basic skills training and technical training. The basic skills training provides trainees with the personal and interpersonal skills  including study skills, mathematics, an introduction to hazardous materials, computer basics, life skills, job readiness, and physical fitness. There is also a counseling component and information on a wide range of social services to aid them in achieving their educational and vocational goals. The technical training includes certificates in construction, weatherization, hazardous waste worker, mold remediation, an OSHA construction or general industry card and state of Louisiana lead  and asbestos abatement worker accreditation.  DSCEJ also assists the graduates with job placement, upon successful program completion; the average job placement rate is 98% with average earnings of $17 – $20 per hour. In New Orleans the training staff is comprised of DCSEJ Technical Training Director, Kim Dunn Chapital, Bruce McClue, Technical Training Manager, and Dr. John Warford, ECWT Program Manager and Assistant Director for Training and Operations. Dunn and McClue are seasoned veterans in this work.

“We are thrilled to congratulate the 28th class of EC graduates. This program is a critical part of our efforts to expand the capacity of leaders who can drive solutions to the climate crisis that is disproportionately affecting the communities they live in,” said Dr. Wright. “Many communities in the Gulf Coast region face barriers to sustainable employment and these are often the same communities deemed as sacrifice zones by polluting industries and unenforced regulations. As a Black woman having grown up in Cancer Alley, I know the power of being able to build a career in protecting my own community.”

Congratulations to DSCEJ’s ECWTP Spring Class of 2023 Top Graduates: 

  • Most Outstanding Student, Dolton Moore
  • Deborah Bates Survivor Award Winners: Leonard Oliver and Dominic Kruger.
  • Davionne Lee
  • Dwight Taylor

About the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice
Families in the Gulf Coast deserve to live in communities that are free from deadly air and are more resilient to climate change and extreme weather. The Deep South Center for Environmental Justice (DSCEJ) works to empower and engage communities to put environmental justice and equity at the center of all climate action. Led by environmental justice scholar and advocate, author, civic leader and professor of Sociology Dr. Beverly L. Wright, the DSCEJ uses research, education, and community and student engagement to advocate for policy change, lead health and safety training for environmental careers, develop social and emotional community wellness programs, and create new and environmentally healthy opportunities for the residents of communities disproportionately impacted by historic environmental injustice.

Link to photo here