Locals Get Superfund Job Training for Tar Creek Site

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has implemented the Superfund Job Training Initiative (SuperJTI) for the Tar Creek Superfund Site in Northeast Oklahoma.

SuperJTI is a job readiness program designed to provide training and employment opportunities for underserved citizens living in communities affected by Superfund sites.

The SuperJTI Program at Tar Creek began in May, with a three-week training period. In all, 250 people expressed interest in participating in the program. Screening and testing reduced the number to 56. From there, 26 applicants underwent three weeks of screening and testing, followed by pre-employment aptitude examinations. Candidates recruited for the program are residents of economically depressed rural areas neighboring Tar Creek.

“Our job training initiative is putting people and property back to work,” said EPA Regional Administrator Al Armendariz. “Training citizens to clean up their own neighborhoods will provide jobs and improve lives.”

EPA offers SuperJTI training through its Technical Assistance Services for Communities (TASC) program, which provides independent educational and technical assistance to communities affected by Superfund sites.

The program combines extensive classroom instruction with hands-on work experience for each participant. Graduates have the basic technical skills to work at Superfund sites, construction projects, and hazardous waste processing companies. Upon graduation all participants will be available for hire.

The Tar Creek Superfund site includes approximately 40 square miles in northern Ottawa County, Okla., where lead and zinc were mined from 1891 until 1970.

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