By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Rose State College will receive its second grant for workforce development and job training.
The federal grant provides $200,000 to the College to train 80 unemployed or underemployed people (including veterans) to work at public wastewater and water treatment systems.
The highly prized grant required a lengthy application and submission process.
“Rose State has advanced itself to be the best in the state and region in training people to work in this field,” stated Dr. Jeanie Webb, President of Rose State College. “We are proud to provide this valuable training and assist people in getting jobs here in Oklahoma.”
Rose State College’s Environmental Coordinator, Bill Clark, states that wastewater and water treatment operator positions are among the fastest growing occupations in the U.S. In Oklahoma, these positions pay anywhere between $12 and $24 an hour.
“This grant will help reduce the critical shortage of wastewater and water treatment system operators and provide good paying jobs to people who are unemployed or are struggling with low paying jobs without benefits,” said Clark. “It will also train returning veterans for new careers.”
Clark said that the grant provides four weeks of instruction and will culminate with five certifications for each graduate in the following categories: Oklahoma D Water and D Wastewater Operator, Oklahoma C Wastewater Lab Operator, OSHA 40 hour HAZWOPER, OSHA 8 hour Confined Space Entry,
“The curriculum is designed so students can receive basic certifications and licenses and meet all of Oklahoma’s state requirements for the job,” he added. “These certifications provide the graduate with valuable credentials required by many employers throughout the state and nation,” Clark said.
One of 19 recipients to be awarded the EPA grant for Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training, Rose State received the same three-year grant in 2013 to train students and place graduates in environmental jobs.
By this fall, 100 students will have been educated at Rose State in the wastewater and water treatment systems training program. The new grant begins the fall of 2015 and runs to October 2018.
The Rose State College Environmental Training Center was established in 1975 by Gubernatorial appointment to provide environmental training for the state of Oklahoma. The center offers a broad range of affordable environmental training, safety, water and wastewater certificate classes.
Rose State is a community college offering more than 60 degrees and skilled occupational programs. The campus is located just seven minutes from downtown Oklahoma City.
For more information, call 405-733-7372 or visit www.rose.edu.