Environmental Workforce Training Program


The application period for the 2019 EWT Program is now closed.  Please call 570.823.3445 with questions.

In 2017, Earth Conservancy (EC) was awarded a $200,000 grant through the USEPA’s Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training (EWDJT) Program to implement a new job training program for local unemployed and underemployed residents in the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre-Hazleton metro area.  Although a new venture for EC, the Environmental Workforce Training (EWT) Program was yet another way EC could help encourage revitalization in the region.

THE PROGRAM:  Although the mines closed decades ago, northeastern Pennsylvania is still dealing with environmental and economic challenges resulting from past anthracite mining. The EWT Program was designed to address these impacts. The program, through a focus on surveying, emphasizes skills and technology required in the reclamation and remediation process. As Mike Dziak, EC’s President and CEO, noted, “It’s a great opportunity, all around. For displaced workers, especially veterans, it offers a new pathway to help secure meaningful employment. For EC, it’s a new way for us to support revitalization in the region, one with extremely positive environmental and economic effects.”

THE CURRICULUM:  The EWT Program provides a comprehensive and realistic curriculum to participants seeking to enter an environmentally-oriented career in the Wyoming Valley. The curriculum, designed by a team at Penn State Wilkes-Barre, consists of 205 contact hours over the course of 2½ months.  The EWT Program is a $4,289 value, with tuition underwritten through a cooperative agreement with the USEPA.  Courses include:

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

THE SCHEDULE:  In order to fit in the eight courses in the 2½-month period, the EWT employs a condensed schedule.  Classes begin February 1, 2019, and are anticipated to conclude in mid-April.  Participants must attend all classes in order to earn certificates and continuing education credits.  A schedule of class meeting times will be posted here shortly (last year’s calendar can give you an idea, however, of what to expect).

OUR PARTNERS:  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 the Luzerne/Schuylkill Workforce Investment Board, Lackawanna County and Pocono County Workforce Development Boards, Northern Tier Regional Planning Development Commission, Outreach (formerly EOTC), and EPCAMR.  Many local engineering firms also contributed to the grant proposal, offering program comments, and agreeing to participate in coursework and interviewing of program graduates.  And a big thank you to our newest supporter, the PPL Foundation, who awarded EC a sustaining grant for the 2019 cohort!

THE RESULTS:  Upon graduation, participants will have skills and certificates that can lead to careers in engineering, construction, remediation, environmental cleanup, and more.  Earth Conservancy and its partners will work with graduates to help find employment opportunities.  Graduates leave the EWT Program with

  • 20.5 hours of continuing education credits from the Pennsylvania State University
  • 3 federal certificates (HAZWOPER 40, OSHA 10, First Aid)
  • professional résumé
  • references and/or letter of recommendation
  • job placement assistance

READY TO APPLY?  Then download the application by clicking here.  You may need to save it to your computer to use the fillable fields.  You can also call Earth Conservancy at 570.823.3445 to request one be sent to you by mail.  Return your completed application to

Dr. Elizabeth W. Hughes
Earth Conservancy
101 South Main Street
Ashley, PA 18706

You can also email it to [email protected]Note:  Veterans receive priority service.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?  Staff will review your application for general program eligibility.  If you qualify, you will then be asked to come to EC offices for an interview.  Assessment screening for math and literacy skills through PA CareerLink® in Wilkes-Barre will occur after that.  Acceptance decisions will be made at the end of January 2019.

Think the EWT Program is right for you?  Answer the questions below to see if you’re eligible:

  • Are you a resident of northeastern Pennsylvania?
  • Are you a high school graduate or GED-holder?
  • Are you 18 or older?
  • Are you a US citizen or authorized worker?
  • Do you classify as an unemployed, underemployed, or dislocated worker?
  • Do you have a valid driver’s license and reliable transportation?
  • Do you have email access?
  • Will you consent to drug test and background checks?
  • Do you like to work outdoors?
  • Do you possess strong math skills?
  • Are you able to perform tasks involving physical labor?
  • Do you have a strong work ethic?
  • Are you able to follow directions and work as part of a team?
  • Can you commit to the full 2½-month program?
  • Do you agree to one year of follow-up interviews?

If you pass the eligibility requirements, the next step is to download and complete the application below.  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]  You can also contact us or your local PA CareerLink® office for more information.  Please note, veterans receive preferred entry.

The EWT Program has been funded in part through a grant from the US EPA and the support of the following partners.  The contents of this webpage and associated links do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the US EPA.