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EPA grant to fund job training programs beginning this month

A job training program, funded by a $199,970 grant obtained by Pioneer Bay Community Development Corporation, is set to begin accepting applicants in the coming days.

The program, which will focus on training locals in environmental fields, aims to help create a qualified workforce that can be tapped to address widespread pollution and redevelopment issues in Port St. Joe, particularly North Port St. Joe.

“We received a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency… It allows us to be able to give free credentials, training for six weeks in Port St. Joe,” said Krystal Hepburn,an Environmental Scientist helping to coordinate the training. “And we’re trying to make sure they’ve been trained in hazardous waste operations, cleanup, remediation, GIS surveying, things like that.”

“And then we place them into jobs right afterwards.”

There will be a mandatory orientation for applicants on January 9 at CareerSource, located at 307 Peters Street in Port St. Joe. The orientation is free and open to any applicant who is aged 18 or older.

Hepburn said CareerSource will be accepting 10 to 15 applicants for the first round of trainings, but additional rounds will be opened in the coming months.

The grant funding the job training is one of three that have been obtained by Pioneer Bay CDC from the EPA.

Pioneer Bay, a non-profit working towards North Port St. Joe’s redevelopment goals, received the first grant, a $200,000 community problem solving grant, in late 2021. It will be used to kick start a project aimed at improving unsafe housing conditions in the community.

The third grant, which was announced last summer, provides nearly half a million dollars in funding that will be used to conduct 16 phase one environmental site assessments, followed by eight phase two assessments, and the creation of eight cleanup plans.

“We’re hoping to plant our students into those efforts as well,” said Hepburn.

The training is scheduled to officially begin on January 23.

For more information about the job training program or the grants, contact Pioneer Bay CDC at 850-227-5662.

Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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