Environmental Workforce Training Program

The Spring 2022 session begins February 2

For the past five years, the Earth Conservancy (EC) has been awarded a $200,000 grant through the the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training (EWDJT) program to implement a new job training program for local unemployed and underemployed residents, including veterans, in the Scranton / Wilkes‑Barre / Hazleton metro area. The Environmental Workforce Training (EWT) program is yet another way the Earth Conservancy can help encourage revitalization in our region.

The Program

Developed by Earth Conservancy as part of its mission of environmental and economic revitalization in northeastern Pennsylvania, the Environmental Workforce Training Program provides hands-on preparation for individuals looking to enter careers in environmental, surveying, or construction fields.

The 2½-month curriculum, taught by faculty at Penn State Wilkes-Barre, focuses on a variety of knowledge, skills, and technologies needed to succeed as an engineering technician. Graduates earn three federally-recognized certificates and 23.3 hours of Continuing Education credits from Penn State. If accepted, there is no cost to the program participants for the course.

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 10 courses (233 hours) over the course of 2½ months. Tuition is underwritten by a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) — a $6,046/person value. Courses include:

  • Introduction to Brownfields
  • AutoCAD, Level I
  • Surveying Field Assistant
  • Environmental Sampling
  • Basic Surveying Techniques
  • GIS for Resource Conservation
  • OSHA 10-Hour Safety Training
  • 1st Aid/CPR/AED
  • Technical Writing

The Schedule

In order to fit the ten courses into a 2½-month period, the EWT program has adopted a condensed schedule. Classes start at the beginning of February and are anticipated to conclude in early April. Participants must attend all classes in order to earn certificates and continuing education credits. In the near future, a tentative schedule of class meeting times will be posted here.

Our Partners

Strong partnerships are the cornerstone of the EWT program. The program has been funded in part through a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and is being supported by the following partners: Penn State Wilkes-Barre, the Luzerne/Schuykill WorkForce Investment Board, the Lackawanna County Workforce Development Board, the Northern Tier Regional Planning & Development Commission, the Pocono County Workforce Development Board, Pennsylvania CareerLink®, Outreach, and the Eastern Pennsylvania Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation (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.

The Results

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

  • 23.3 hours of continuing education units from Penn State
  • 3 federal certifications (HAZWOPER 40, OSHA 10, First Aid)
  • professional résumé and cover letter
  • letter of recommendation


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 hold a valid driver’s license and have reliable transportation?
  • Do you have access to email?
  • Will you consent to drug tests 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?

Job Search

As part of this program, you will also receive job placement assistance. Careers in the field have starting salaries averaging $13-$18 per hour, with high potential for growth. Job opportunities may include Environmental Field Technician, Survey Technician, Materials Technician, as well as other positions.


For more information and to get an application, visit the Earth Conservancy web site. If you pass the eligibility requirements above, download and complete the EWT program application or call 570-823-3445 to request one to be sent to you by mail. Once completed, you can either mail it to:

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

or email it to [email protected]. You can also contact us or your local PA CareerLink® office for more information. Please note: veterans will receive preferential entry.

What Happens Next?

Staff will review your application for general program eligibility. If you qualify, you will then be invited for an interview. Assessment screening for math and literacy skills through our PA CareerLink® partners will occur after that.

Learn More

Want to learn more? Interested in meeting the instructors? To attend a public informational session, contact the PA CareerLink® Luzerne County office located at 32 East Union Street, Wilkes‑Barre, PA 18701.