ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Rochester’s Environmental Job Training Program (ReJob) is helping people start a lasting career in environmental remediation.
The program is unpaid and tuition-free. It’s meant to help underserved communities by creating a path to a long-lasting career. ReJob is an intensive eight weeks of training during which trainees get certifications in expertise like asbestos, mold, and environmental sampling for air, water, and soil, among others.
The program is entering its eighth year in January 2024. So far, 100 percent of attendees have completed the program and have found career opportunities. To qualify, applicants must be residents of Rochester, have a valid New York State driver’s license, have a registered and insured vehicle, pass multiple drug tests, and be able to commit to eight weeks of full-day training.
“I always wanted to do something with construction but I just never had a proper way of getting my foot in the door,” said Kenneth Terry, a ReJob graduate who now works as a Geo-Probe technician at construction company LaBella.
“The federal EPA has made it their mission to be able to arm community citizens who are underserved or under-employed with all of the certifications they need to become marketable to an employer,” said Paul McFadden, Manager of workforce development for the City of Rochester.
But there are other difficulties to get into the construction industry. In May 2022, The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission held a hearing, claiming there is, severe and pervasive discrimination in the construction sector, especially against women and people of color.
“It’s a predominantly white, male-run operation. It’s just hard. You rarely see black men on a job site and this program gave us, as a community, the opportunity to be on those job sites.” stated Terry. “If you want a construction job, like I say, people always ask me “how did you get that job? how are you doing too well?” the Rochester ReJob program.”
For more information on qualifications and applications and an overview of ReJob, there’s a Public Town Hall Meeting on Monday at the Edgerton Rec Center.