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The Deep South Center for Environmental Justice


The Environmental Career Worker Training Program (ECWTP)

Under a cooperative agreement with the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), Dillard University’s Deep South Center for Environmental Justice (DUDSCEJ) conducts environmental training for the underserved population primarily in the Southern Region of the United States.The Environmental Career Worker Training Program focuses on delivering comprehensive training to increase the number of disadvantaged and underrepresented minority workers in areas such as environmental remediation/restoration, construction, hazardous materials/waste handling and emergency response. 



This Basic Skills instruction provides trainees with the personal and interpersonal skills required to deal with the challenges of everyday life and to obtain and sustain employment. The ECWT program’s six-week basic skills training utilize a work-based learning curriculum. Classes include study skills, mathematics, an introduction to hazardous materials, computer basics, life skills, job readiness, and physical fitness. There is also a counseling component that provides students with problem intervention and assistance, in addition to information on a wide range of social services to aid them in achieving their educational and vocational goals.



Technical training can include the following components as required by the granting agency:

40 hour—Construction           


16-hour—Lead Abatement       

32-hour—Asbestos Abatement

40-hour—Hazardous Waste Worker

16-hour—Mold Remediation


30-hour—OSHA Construction


Participants are fully certified in each technical segment completed satisfactorily, and are provided OSHA workplace cards. The staff provides placement and career development assistance, and continues to track the performance of both recent and past graduates.


Next Training - January 8 - March 23, 2018

Dillard University is conducting free 12 week job training in construction, weatherization, hazardous waste removal, mold, lead abatement, and asbestos abatement. Trainees will learn the skills needed for construction, demolition, and emergency response. Training is from January 8 – March 23, 2018. To apply, please complete the online application below. Participants must be 18 years of age or older and drug free. After receiving certification, participants will be assisted with job placement. Testing and interviewing begins December 4th. For more information call 504-816-4005.  ECWTP Application


Hazardous Waste Worker Training Program

The Hazardous Waste Worker Training Program (HWWTP) provides model occupational safety and health training for workers engaged in hazardous waste removal or containment, or chemical emergency response. The main goal of the program is to deliver EH&S training and workshops to workers and communities at risk for exposure to hazardous materials. Certifications are provided to workers in a variety of environmental health and safety areas often required by local, state and federal agencies to conduct work in related fields. The HWWT program is currently funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences; specific target population includes minority and small businesses, first responders, union workers and Historically Black Colleges and Universities. 

HWWTP Application



Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 

Taking Action on Toxics: Training Communities and Engaging Experts to Reduce Pollution Project

The Environmental Protection Agency, Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Project plans, organizes, and implements national conferences in Washington, DC; and face-to-face training workshops in cities across the United States and quarterly online webinars. These outreach and training events are designed to increase awareness and use of Toxics Release Inventory and other toxic chemical data by vulnerable communities, scientists, experts, industries, non-governmental organizations, and the general public. The outreach activities involve regional workshops held in different regions of the United States. The content for each workshop is designed by the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice in collaboration with regional partners based on identified needs of the target population, with emphasis on how TRI data can be used to meet local goals. The project also involves producing and implementing training activities that include quarterly webinars and a national training conference every 18 months. National TRI webinars are offered each quarter of the year. The webinars are developed and implemented to effectively communicate information about Toxic Release Inventory data that is available from EPA, and to teach skills in accessing the TRI database, utilizing online mapping tools, and interpreting TRI data.


Webinar - Integrating California and Mexico's TRI Data into CalEnvironScreen

September 14, 2017



Dr. Vanessa Galaviz presented, “Integrating California and Mexico's TRI Data into CalEnvironScreen” the California Communities Environmental Health Screening Tool CalEnviroScreen) which is a science-based method for evaluating multiple pollution sources in a community while accounting for vulnerability to pollution. The information provided by this tool has been used to focus compliance and enforcement activities, and to direct funding from several state programs. The tool uses 19 indicators of pollution and vulnerability based on publicly available data. Among the pollution indicators is the Risk-Screening Environmental Indicators (RSEI) model based on Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) data. California communities located near the Mexican border raised concerns that local impacts were ranked too low because CalEnviroScreen failed to incorporate cross-border pollution.


Key Take Away Points:

  • CalEnviroScreen is a mapping tool that helps identify California communities suffering from cumulative impacts of multiple pollutants and where people are especially vulnerable to pollution’s effects.
  • CalEnviroScreen is being used to assist the State of California to identify environmental justice communities for investment of proceeds from the State’s cap-and-trade program.
  • This presentation covers the work done to improve CalEnviroScreen with respect to California-Mexico cross-border pollution, including Toxic Releases from Facilities.


Dr. Vanessa Galaviz Bio

Dr. Vanessa Galaviz is an environmental health scientist whose work focuses on addressing environmental injustices faced by underserved communities. She works to reduce exposures in  predominately low-income and minority populations with multiple sources of pollution who also face occupational, socioeconomic and biological stressors. In combination, these stressors can increase vulnerability to adverse health effects from exposure to pollution inevitably resulting in disproportionate health impacts. She is  Mexican-American and experienced first-hand the struggles of living in an underserved community in Los Angeles, and was first in her family to attend college and graduate school.  Dr. Galaviz has experience in multiple aspects of the environmental health field, including industrial hygiene/exposure assessment, air pollution, biomarkers of exposure and susceptibility, cumulative impacts, community-based participatory research, citizen science, and science-policy work. She works in partnership with communities, government, and academics to achieve environmental justice for underserved communities.






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