Contractors working in environmental remediation and cleanup projects need skilled workers with environmental training, and TEEX is filling the gap.
The groundbreaking TEEX program, funded by the Environmental Protection Agency, offers participants two weeks of environmental training, including site assessment and HAZWOPER, along with four weeks of heavy equipment operator training.
The classes, conducted by the Public Sector Training Division, are held at McCommas Bluff Landfill in southeast Dallas, which is an EPA Brownsfield Assessment Demonstration Pilot.
Under the EPA grant, 40 people from economically depressed areas will acquire skills to allow them to work in environmental remediation projects, said Jack Pettyjohn, program manager with Public Sector.
The project targets residents near the landfill site. Participants learn to operate either a backhoe, dozer or loader. The first classes began in January for members of the Choctaw/Chickasaw Nation, which has organizations in Dallas and Oklahoma, he added.
The training efforts are supported by the Dallas Workforce Development Board and the Association of General Contractors of Texas. Those who complete the training are expected to fill a shortage of heavy equipment operators with environmental skills to work on environmental assessment and cleanup projects.