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Northwest Regional Workforce Investment Board

Meet Kyle

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Workforce Challenge

Kyle had been out of work for a year after being laid off from a shipping job in Bridgeport, CT. A job at DirectTV didn’t stick, again landing him in the ranks of the unemployed. Kyle saw a recruitment poster for the Northwest Regional Workforce Investment Board Brownfields Job Training program in the state Department of Labor office and decided to apply.

Workforce Solution

Waterbury is home to dozens, if not hundreds, of "brownfields", an industry term for vacant commercial and industrial sites with a history of environmental problems. The NRWIB Brownfield Job Training Program is a five days a week, five week long class that teaches trainees how to handle and transport hazardous waste, remove lead and asbestos, remove demolition debris, use heat and light to remove chemicals, and take soil and water samples. When they are finish the training, they leave with a fistful of state and federal certifications and a set of construction tools. In 2009, the NRWIB was awarded a $200,000 grant to train people in the skills needed to clean up the sullied city landscape.

At the NRWIB office, Kyle was determined to meet the requirements for acceptance into the program. He had to take the math test twice, but he stuck it out, and was accepted as a trainee. Six weeks later, and only a week after he graduated, Kyle was laying boom along the Mississippi shore to protect beaches from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Outcomes & Benefits

In a year and a half, The Northwest Regional Workforce Investment Board’s local Brownfields Job Training program has put 40 of its 61 graduates to work doing everything from the removal of lead to home energy audits to carpentry.

“It’s changed my life,” Kyle said. “I know many people that just can’t find work. I looked for what felt like forever and I couldn’t find it. But now, I’m set. I’ve got as much work as I can handle.” Congratulations, Kyle!

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