Location: Nationwide | Client: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
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Since 2008, Skeo has supported the Superfund Job Training Initiative (SuperJTI) for EPA, including providing work readiness and technical training to students in 15 communities across the nation. Many of these areas are environmental justice communities – historically under-represented minority and low-income neighborhoods and areas burdened with significant environmental challenges. Through the training program, which focuses on providing marketable skills to underserved communities, Skeo has worked with a diverse set of clients, successfully engaging all appropriate partners while providing effective, tailored training services and placing graduates of the program into meaningful full- time employment.
During the formation and implementation of each SuperJTI program, Skeo works with a complex team of stakeholders that can include EPA and other federal/state agencies, a local community subcontractor that represents community interests, businesses that may hire graduates of the program, and other partners from the communities. In order to conduct a successful program, Skeo brings the various partners together to solicit input on all aspects of the training program including recruitment, screening, training location and certifications included. The result is a training program specifically tailored to meet the goals of each community.
During the training program, Skeo provides work-readiness and lifeskills training to prepare the students to enter the work world. The lifeskills training provided by Skeo is transformative in nature and includes Skeo’s Building Cultural Competence training, which focuses on addressing diversity in the workforce and overcoming barriers to maintaining employment. The lifeskills training also includes Skeo’s course on Environmental Justice, which provides a context for students to understand their shared histories as residents of environmentally overburdened areas.
Skeo has provided training in 15 communities through SuperJTI including:
- a disenfranchised mining community in Idaho,
- a Route 66 community suffering the loss of their once-vibrant tourism in Oklahoma,
- a now-closed military base formerly used for testing ordinances in California, and
- a former depot located near abandoned uranium mines on the Navajo Nation.
These trainings have resulted in the successful preparation and transition of trainees into the workplace. Since 2008, Skeo has trained over 200 students through SuperJTI and assisted with the successful placement of over 70% of graduates into meaningful employment, many of whom then maintain their positions, increase their quality of life, and become environmental stewards in their communities.