The Environmental Workforce Training Program assists unemployed and underemployed residents of northeastern Pennsylvania acquire new skills that may lead to entry-level jobs in surveying, construction, and environmental cleanup fields.

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For over 25 years, Earth Conservancy has worked to revitalize the environment and economy through reclamation and reuse of abandoned minelands.  EC’s Environmental Workforce Training (EWT) Program adds to those efforts, training 25 unemployed/underemployed workers from northeastern Pennsylvania annually in surveying and environmental cleanup skills and technologies with our partner, Penn State Wilkes-Barre.  We then assist participants with their job search for the following year.  The goal:  For graduates to find self-sustaining employment, ideally in a field that aligns with EC’s revitalization efforts.  There is no tuition cost for the program.  More information can be found in the program brochure:

2021 EWT Program Brochure

The EWT Program is made possible by generous grants from the Appalachian Regional Commission, the US Environmental Protection Agency, and the PPL Foundation, as well as financial and in-kind contributions from our partners.

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In order to apply to the EWT Program, you’ll need to meet the following eligibility requirements:

Resident of northeastern Pennsylvania • High school graduate or GED-holder • Aged 18 or older • US citizen or authorized worker • Unemployed, underemployed, or dislocated worker • Hold a valid driver’s license • Have reliable transportation • Have email access • Consent to background check and drug test • Like to work outdoors in all conditions • Possess strong math skills • Able to perform tasks involving physical labor • Able to commit to full 3-month program • Agree to one year of follow-up interviews

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Already want to speak to someone about the program?  Here’s your chance!  We have virtual Information Sessions set up this spring and summer with our partner, PA CareerLink Luzerne County.  Sessions will be held on the following Wednesdays at 1:00:  May 19, June 2, June 16, June 30, July 14, July 28, and August 11.  Get the Zoom link to attend here.

Flyer:  2021 Information Sessions with PA CareerLink Luzerne County

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Instruction for the EWT Program is coordinated by Penn State Wilkes-Barre’s Office of Continuing Education.  Together with EC and the Surveying Engineering department, they have developed a practical, hands-on curriculum for participants – a $6046 value.  Courses include:

Introduction to Brownfields • Surveying Field Assistant • Basic Land Surveying Techniques • AutoCAD, Level I • GIS for Resource Conservation • Environmental Sampling • OSHA 40-Hour HAZWOPER • OSHA 10-Hour Safety • First Aid/CPR • Technical Writing

Classes are anticipated to begin in early September 2021, and will run approximately three months with 235 contact hours.  The majority of classes are held at Penn State Wilkes-Barre in Dallas, PA.  You can view the program brochure and last year’s class schedule below.

2020 EWT Program Course Calendar

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With our partners, we’ll work with you to help find you employment after the program ends.  You’ll leave the EWT Program with

23.5 hours of continuing education credits from the Pennsylvania State University
3 federally-recognized certifications
A professional résumé and cover letter
References and/or a letter of recommendation

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If you’re eligible, download and complete the application below.  You may need to save it to your computer to use the fillable fields.  Once finished, you can either mail it to Earth Conservancy at 101 South Main Street, Ashley, PA 18706, Attention: Dr. Elizabeth W. Hughes; or email it to [email protected]  Please note: Veterans receive preferred entry.

2021 EWT Program Application

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Strong partnerships are the cornerstone of the EWT Program, chief among them Penn State Wilkes-Barre’s Surveying Engineering department and Office of Continuing Education.  Additional partners include:

Luzerne/Schuylkill Workforce Investment Board
Lackawanna County Workforce Development Board
Pocono County Workforce Development Board
Northern Tier Regional Planning Development Commission
PA CareerLink®
Commission on Economic Opportunity
Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center
Veterans Resource Coalition of NEPA

Local engineering firms serve on an advisory committee, which includes Barry Isett & Associates, Geo-Science Engineering & Testing, JHA Companies, and SCE Environmental.

The EWT Program is on for September 2021 and the application period is OPEN! Applications are available for download on this page. Have questions? Contact Elizabeth W. Hughes, EdD, at [email protected].