|U.S. REPRESENTATIVE JO ANN EMERSON|
Serving Southern Missouriís Eighth District
|WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Representative Jo Ann Emerson (MO-8) today
announced that the Mineral Area College (MAC) in Park Hills, Missouri,
secured a $200,000 Brownfields Job Training and Development grant from the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Brownfields are abandoned,
contaminated properties, often found in distressed areas. The grant will
be used by MAC to train 50 low-income residents in mine waste site
assessment in a 30 credit-hour program that emphasizes innovative cleanup
technologies. Park Hills was one of 10 communities nationwide to receive a
Brownfields Job Training grant.
"I am very pleased that Mineral Area College has secured a Brownfields Job Training and Development grant," stated Emerson. "MAC's program will go a long way in helping people gain valuable skills for gainful employment and in contributing to the economic development in Bonne Terre and all of St. Francois county."
Shawn Grindstaff, Executive Director of the MAC St. Francois Mountain Environmental Policy Institute, has been working over the past five years to get the MAC Brownfields Job Training and Development program up and running. "Over the past five years I have had the enthusiastic support and help of the local communities to make this program a reality," said Grindstaff. "I am very proud that our efforts have paid off and that we can now take this program to the next level. I am also very pleased to provide members of our communities a service that can turn into life-long skills."
The Brownfields Job Training and Development program at MAC is designed to help the students secure well-paying jobs and further the clean up of brownfields in the area. MAC will focus on the Old Lead Belt county of St. Francois. The demise of the lead mining industry in these counties has resulted in economic distress in the small, rural communities in the area, and the abandonment of mine-related facilities created hundreds of acres of brownfields.