United States
             Environmental Protection
               EPA 832-F-93-001
               April 1993
             Office Of Water (WH-547)
Youth AndThe
Environment Training
And Employment Program
                 TAe environment is a growth industry —
                 providing widespread career opportunities
                      for a trained workforce.
Printed on Recycled Paper
                      d the Environment


 To'Careers  in

 Environmental  Protection
                                                   s^j&-^ ~
 Tor a small assemblage of high school kids from cities and toivwsjajcross
 the United States, this ride on spaceship earth will never be qutiefhe
 same. The flush of the toilet has taken on a new and complex significance.
 Drinking water, garbage, heat and electricity are            ~=-:
 no longer simply facts of life. These young peo-
 ple know, probably better than most people do,
 that the environment belongs to everybody and
 that everybody has a stake in its future. They
 also know that environmental protection, con-
 servation, and preservation will require not
 only an enlightened public, but a workforce
 that is trained to carry out the vast numbers
 of pivotal tasks necessary to balance soci-
 ety's needs with a healthy environment.
 Finally, they know what thousands of other
 high school age people need to know—that
 there are challenging and worthwhile career
 opportunities in environmental protection.
We're talking about high school kids who have par-
ticipated in EPA's "Youth and the Environment" pro-
gram (Y&E)—a program that began in the summer of
1990 to introduce economically disadvantaged urban
and rural youth to career opportunities in the environ-
mental field by combining summer employment with
academic training and hands-on experience. In an
effort to expose students to the many and varied envi-
ronmental career possibilities, the program provides a
blueprint for establishing youth awareness and training
in such fields as water supply, wastewater treatment,
recycling, energy, marine environments, hazardous
waste, and natural resources protection.

  "The Youth and
;;  the Environment
 program gives our
   teenagers an
•   opportunity to
i   /earn by doing
 while contributing
1 to environmental
   Michael B. Cook
'  Director, US. EPA
I Office of Wastewater
I;, : Enforcement and
 f "This is not just a '
 j job...it's a place   I
 !  where you can  *
 I learn as a person
 ""am/ know how to  ;
 | take care of things I
 f	and treat this  ]
 •  world better."
 «:;;;;; :.. :,;;,;, •     ••, ,•  ';
 tshawn Allen, Wyandotte
 |||tgh School, Kansas City _j

 1	1
 l	      .
                    Because Y&E was conceived to help
                  meet workforce needs in the wastewater
                  pollution control and water supply
                   fields, many work sites are located at
                   wastewater and water supply facilities.
                   But when it comes to work sites, envi-
                   ronmental professions offer unlimited
                    possibilities. In fact, considerable flexi-
                    bility is built into the program so that it
                    can be structured to meet any and all
                    environmental training needs of partic-
                    ipating communities.
                        Programs established at city zoos in
                     Boston, Massachusetts; Providence,
                     Rhode Island; and Los Angeles,
            California bring inner city teens into exotic envi-
ronments where they get to know many of the animals not only
by feeding and caring for them, but by helping to create
exhibits that reflect the ecological habitats of the animals.
   In Arizona, the State Environmental Technology Training
Center, the Indian Public Health Service, and the Intertribal
Council work cooperatively to provide water and wastewater
training to Native American students with the hope that some
will answer the call for much needed trained and experienced
personnel at Native American facilities.
   Kids in the Pacific Northern Mariana Islands work in
various sections of the Division of Environmental Quality
while another group works at the Commonwealth Utilities
   As the environmental call to action peals out with height-
ened urgency, more and more trained and experienced men
and women will be needed at the frontlines of all environ-
mental disciplines. Students involved in Youth and the
Environment are given a special glimpse at some of the many
opportunities they have to play a role in improving the man-
earth story line. These students better understand the environ-
mental problems we face, the technologies that can help solve
these problems, and how their own communities are dealing
with these problems.
   Because of its success so far, EPA is working to expand the
Youth and the Environment program so that many more stu-
 dents are able to participate through both public and private
 funding sources. For those who have already participated, the
 experience has been remarkably fulfilling. All share an enthu-
 siasm and a commitment to make the program continue. This
 is why efforts are underway to recruit sponsors and co-spon-
 sors from other government agencies, business, industry, and
 community organizations who recognize the need for opening
 up career possibilities to today's and tomorrow's high school

A New  England Potpourri
   ew England's Youth and the Environment program began
at the Lowell, Massachusetts Wastewater Treatment Plant in
1990. Since then, a small group of Lowell High School
students have participated each summer in that eight-week
program, earning salaries by assisting the plant operators in
day-to-day wastewater plant operations, which include rou-
tine monitoring and lab analysis, plant operations, inspec-
tions, maintenance, and safety. The students rotate through
each of these areas so that at the end of eight weeks they have
a broad understanding of how the plant handles wastewater
from collection to discharge into the nearby Merrimack Elver.
Training emphasizes math, computer, and science skills
necessary for entry into water and wastewater fields.
   By summer 1992, New England Y&E programs had
expanded to Rhode Island, Maine, and Boston, Massachusetts.
In Rhode Island, inner city youth take part in a program at the
Narragansett Bay Commission Wastewater Treatment Plant,
which is modeled after the Lowell program.
   The seven-week Maine program takes a slightly different
approach. Participating students are assigned to several
different community treatment plants where, working side
by side with plant personnel, they undertake a variety of job:
                                                            r^pne of our major
                                                           jjjfrgfes as coordina-
                                                           ^torsjof this program
                                                           * is to provide the
                                                           ^students with an ~
                                                           'BSw-areness of job
                                                           ^opportunities in
                                                            I the environmental,
                                                           ^disciplines. For
                                                           %\those who demon-
                                                             *strate interest in
                                                               this field, it is
                                                           "?pjlow-up — that we
                                                           'promote their con-
                                                           Iftinued schooling
                                                           ifwitfi the hope that
                                                           mfhey will choose
                                                           ^feKMpt.-Z            ^
                                                           njthejenvironmental f
                                                           jjj... discipline as a
                                                              "career path."
                                                            L"~  KirkLaflm
                                                            -|_- NEIETC Director
                                                            1 <--            !
                                                            I "They asked ques-
                                                            tions. They weren't
                                                            satisfied just to be
                                                            I told something.
                                                            tjViey wanted to
                                                              Know the why's
                                                             and the how's."
                                                              ~  Mark Young
                                                              Lowell Wastgyvater
                                                            •r c

~  "In my 23 years
  with the EPA, this
 has been one of the
   most rewarding
\  projects I've been
   Involved in....so
|  far, almost 100
    high school
: students have par-
   ticipated in the
~   New England
   program; many
   have expressed
  interest in environ-
  mental careers, all
  have been recog-
   nized for a job
    well done."
    Charles Conway
     EPA, Region 1
    Y&E Coordinator
 • "Working one-on- \
 ;: one with a mentor "
 ;  gives eacft kid a
  chance to act like
  an adult—there's
 -.. no peer group pres-
   sure—no one to
 . laugh when he or
 -she asks or answers
 ^   a question."    ;
 -      Jake Bair
   Maryland Center for
  Environmental Training
  Two New England programs take place at zoos: the
Franklin Park Zoo in Boston and the Roger Williams Park Zoo
in Providence, Rhode Island. In these environments students
get involved with animal care, habitat development, conser-
vation issues, and environmental career education.
  One day a week students in each program are transported
to different locations to attend either seminars or tours to learn
about various environmental issues and career opportunities,
including wastewater treatment, drinking water, solid
waste/recycling, energy production, and protecting environ-
mentally sensitive areas. This training is often reinforced with
field trips to such places as water treatment facilities, power
plants, conservation areas, recycling, and composting facilities.
  Each program has a youth coordinator staff person who
manages the day to day aspects of the program and has over-
all responsibility for the students. While working at job sites
students are expected to carry out their job tasks responsibly
and professionally.

U.S. EPA, Region 1
New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission/
   Environmental Training Center (NEIWPCC/NEIETC)
U.S. Department of Labor Youth Summer Employment Program

Maryland  Targets Disadvantaged

Rural Kids

If aryland's Y&E enrollees are recruited through the
"Maryland's Tomorrow" program, a statewide school-based
organization which identifies high school students in signifi-
cant danger of dropping out of school for economic, family, or
other reasons. The 1991 and 1992 Y&E programs took place at
water and wastewater treatment facilities located in three
rural counties in the southern part of the state.
  The cornerstone of the Maryland program is its one-on-one
mentor arrangement, whereby each student is assigned to a
senior level, experienced operator or lab technician to provide
instruction and guidance during the eight-week period. The
mentor provides mature companionship, professional encour-
agement, and an example of professional behavior. The stu-
dent works with the mentor through a seven-hour work day,
wearing the same uniform and learning specific duties as well
as overall aspects of plant operations. The mentors also pro-
vide students with transportation to and from the job site.

   Every other Friday half of the students participate in
 enrichment trips designed to explore environmental ques-
 tions, problems, technical solutions, and to provide an inter-
 lude of fun and relaxation in natural settings unknown to
 most of the enrollees. Some of these natural
 settings are visited because they benefit
 directly from the proper management and
 operation of neighboring wastewater treat-
 ment plants. One of the responsibilities of
 the program's project coordinator is to orga-
 nize and conduct these enrichment days.

 U.S. EPA, Region 3
 Maryland Center for Environmental Training,
   Charles County Community College
 Job Training Network of Southern Maryland
 "Maryland's Tomorrow" Program
 From Water to Solid
 Waste to Energy in Memphis,
  outh and the Environment training and education holds up
a magnifying glass to simple everyday things, such as clean
drinking water, wastewater disposal, trash disposal, and elec-
tricity, to reveal that they are anything but simple. That leap
through the looking glass truly characterizes the Memphis
State University-sponsored Summer Environmental
Enrichment Project (SEEP), Solid Waste Environmental Enrich-
ment Project (SWEEP), and most recent Radon, Energy, and
Air Pollution Project (REAP). Through these programs, partici-
pating students interested in pursuing careers in science have
the opportunity to observe as well as take part in a wide range
of activities associated with and planned by Memphis Light,
Gas, and Water (MLGW), the expansive utility monopoly in
that area, and the City of Memphis Public Works Division.
  During the six-week period, students engage in such
hands-on tasks as water quality testing, maintenance, survey-
ing, water production and distribution, systems control and
data acquisition, and utility services. They learn about the
importance of protecting and monitoring Memphis' ground-
water aquifer and the connection between groundwater qual-
ity and human activities. Students get involved in wastewater
treatment, including how wastewater is collected, treated, and
analyzed for various chemical compounds.
'enya (a student)
 \rly excited to
~fmd shejcould
     \er math
 Jlls tprthe real
    I In school
 sjfae couldn't

 "He (the student)
  went the whole
 nine yards. He did
 the variety of jobs
 that our operators
-and lab technicians
' do at the facility,
  and as he com-
pleted each task he
" took pride in what
   he had done."
    Dick Coodnow
   Falmouth, Maine
 Wastewater Treatment
  At the MLGW 4000-acre EARTH (Environmental Resource
and Technology) Complex students are exposed to different
means for managing solid and hazardous waste, including
experimental agriculture using composted sludge as fertilizer.
The EARTH Complex also houses a bird sanctuary; here a
       local ornithologist guides the students into the world
       of birds and bird habitats. Students in the REAP pro-
       gramhomein on such activities as classroom and labo-
       ratory chemistry, air pollution monitoring, radon
       testing, energy production, and energy alternatives.
            Through field trips students see the different
        ways that communities handle lifestyle/environmen-
        tal issues. By examining recycling strategies, visiting
        local landfills, underground storage tank removal
         sites, or talking with officials in the County Health
         Department, students meet and interact with many
         professional role models in the environmental
         arena. Students visit such places as the U.S. Coast
          Guard to discuss prevention and cleanup of chemi-
          cal and oil spills in rivers and lakes; the Army
          Corps of Engineers to study flood control and wet-
           lands protection; Tennessee Valley Authority facil-
         ities; and hazardous waste management facilities.

 Memphis State University
 U.S. EPA, Region 4
 U.S. Department of Energy
 Memphis Public Works Division
 Memphis Light, Gas, and Water
 Chemical Waste Management, Inc.
 Memphis Private Industry Council
 Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association
 Tennessee Valley Authority

 Kansas City's Project Choice

  foufhandthe Environment in the Kansas City area is made up
 of high school students who are involved in "Project Choice,"
 a program supported by the Ewing Kauffman Foundation to
 encourage inner city youths to finish high school and continue
 their education through college and vocational training pro-
 grams. To be considered for the program the students must
 submit a resume, an application which includes an essay on
 why they wish to participate, and be interviewed by city per-
 sonnel. Students who are selected spend a week in training to
 learn about wastewater treatment and environmental career

   Participating students are given four different job assign-
ments during the eight-week program. They spend two weeks
on each job, learning about wastewater operations, sewer
maintenance, and laboratory analysis. The Kansas City Youth
and the Environment organizers hope to expand their pro-
gram to many other communities in the Kansas City, Kansas
and Missouri area.

U.S. EPA, Region 7
Kauffman Foundation, Project Choice
City of Kansas City, Kansas
Environmental Resource Center, Crowder College
 Full-time Work Experience for

 Denver Young Adults

 f outh and the Environment is a flexi-
ble program that bends to suit the
needs of program sponsors. Because
the Denver Youth Employment
Service in Colorado is geared to
young adults who are not in high
school and who have no full-time
employment experience/the
Denver Y&E program is directed
toward this group.
   Because these young adults are somewhat
older than high school age youth, they are expected to assume
more responsibility and to engage in activities that may present
a greater degree of risk. Thus, before beginning work each par-
ticipant receives required OSHA health and safety training.
Each young adult selected for the program works with one pro-
fessional as a full-fledged assistant with real world responsibili-
ties. In 1991, for example, participating young adults were
assigned jobs as assistant utility workers at the Denver
Wastewater Treatment Plant—work that involved the danger-
ous business of entering sewers to check for leaks and backups.
   As a result of this work experience and time spent one-on-
one with wastewater professionals, most of the alumni went
on to full-time permanent employment.
U.S. EPA, Region 8
Metro Wastewater Reclamation District
Denver Wastewater Management
Denver Youth Employment Service
   F/je students have
fjhscoxered that the
4*4 field is full of
J" people who are
-feeT    , ,.-*  ,  '
J^_yery dedicated
» and professional."
$f   Lorene Lindsay
^Environmental Resource
  Center, Crowder College
  /The program Is
  •VijJS i£fs>-5sw¥3S  *•
^invaluable, that's
fall there is to it. It
* Jff 'fT'%* •» *         &
 both teaches them
      holds them  (
ZjaecblifiabTe. It's
Wine real life work
£ite^             4
^experience they've
 weeded so much."
   ,~-      — -
ifcj, Penver Youth
Jtfjjnpioyment Service

I	:>..'•	
Turning  Kids Around in Los Angeles

Following the civil disturbances that swept Los Angeles in the
spring of 1992, the City of Los Angeles Environmental Affairs
Department and EPA joined together to address the need for
jobs for city youth while promoting environmental awareness.
In this initial Y&E program youth were placed at the Los
Angeles Zoo and the Hyperion Wastewater Treatment Plant.
  Michael Fritzen, Program Coordinator at the zoo notes, "I
never understood how important this type of hand-on educa-
tion was until I had this experience. The kids became so aware
of what was around them. From their interest, they started
        telling their friends who also wanted to be a part of
        it. For example, one girl who was a drop out, kicked
        drugs and went back to school; one student went to
       San Diego State and is majoring in Environmental
       Sciences; and one girl is now working at the zoo."
         Next summer the City sponsors plan to expand the
      program to include more students at more facilities.
      The goal is to go for a year-round program that pre-
      pares junior high school kids to enter the Y&E program
      by pairing them up with high school mentors.

       Report from the Los Angeles Zoo
       Michael Fritzen, Program Coordinator

       August 7   "We went back out to Whittier Narrows
        for a second look at a freshwater marsh. Now that the
        students have had a chance to get a feel for the marsh
        exhibit, they went back out into the field to expand
        their ideas on the renovation project. We talked about
        how we can create the same environment at the zoo
         as the one we were standing in."
         August 10-13   "The students started the actual
         landscaping and development of the marsh. They
         planted cattails and water iris in buckets to be put
          into the marsh pool. They collected duckweed and
          floating water hyacinth from the zoo ponds to add
          to the water. Native grasses were planted in the
           soil to provide nesting material and hiding places
           for the birds. By Thursday we were finished the
           project and the students were proud of their
accomplishment. They knew they had created this exhibit and
the pride shined in their faces."

 Report from Hyperion Wastewater
 Treatment Plant
 John Woehrle, Program Coordinator

 August 3 "All the interns reported to new
 assignments. The weekly rotation is exposing
 the students to four different stations in this
 facility. Already they have job preferences in
 the waste treatment field."

 August 10   "Lofreisha and Keiser learned
 more about data processing. Analilia worked
 in Air Quality. Dante and Vida worked
 together in Design. Eric was rotated to the Process
 Control Lab. Montina spent her week in the Biology Lab.
 Dennis rotated to the Micro Lab. Donyell spent the week in
 the Chemistry Lab separating influent water and solid sam-
 ples. Terrance worked with experiments dealing with poly-
 mers in the ERD Lab."

 August 13   "The day was spent gathering fish and water
 samples from Santa Monica Bay. The fish were netted during
 a 10-minute trawl, pulled aboard, and sepa-
 rated by group classification, counted, mea-
 sured, and weighed. The water samples; were
 to be tested later in the lab for bacteria levels."
City of Los Angeles Environmental Affairs Department
U.S. EPA, Region 1
New England Interstate Environmental Training Center
             .p. a*

 Reaping the Benefits
                     ^ l^Sramenl^^Y&E
                     £flvironni£*nf A«/~ /
                       , "'lent helped me earn

                     how ' could use chemistry „ a
                     career Whan 11,  , , y

                     th~ '•   "'neard about all
         the Environment

 You Can Help Make A Difference
 Would your agency or organization like to help extend the
 opportunities of the Youth and the Environment program to
 more students in your area? Participation in the program can
 be done in a variety of ways. No two programs are ever alike.
           "I love the enthusiasm of participating
       students. Most cities will find the development
         of a Youth and the Environment program a
                 rewarding experience."
             Mary S. Settle, Program Director
               Youth and the Environment
           U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
 Cities Opening Doors to Careers
 in the Environment

 From four cities in 1990, Youth and the Environment has
 grown—but not enough. Many more kids in many more
 places can benefit from this kind of opportunity...given the
 chance. As of 1992, the following cities have participated in
 the program:
Atlanta, Georgia
Boston, Massachusetts
Denver, Colorado
Falmouth, Maine
Hillsboro, Oregon
Juneau, Alaska
Kansas City, Kansas
Lafayette, Louisiana
LaPlata, Maryland
Los Angeles, California
Las Graces, New Mexico
Lowell, Massachusetts
Memphis, Tennessee
Midwest City, Oklahoma
Portland, Maine
Providence, Rhode Island
Richmond, Virginia
Saipan, Mariana Islands
Scarborough, Maine
South Portland, Maine
Tucson, Arizona
Washington, D.C.


                  Getting Started

                  I f you are interested in sponsoring or co-sponsoring a "Youth
                  and the Environment" program in your area, or if you want to
                  know more about the program, contact:

                                        Mary S. Settle
                             U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
                                 401M Street, S.W. (WH-547)
                                    Washington, D.C. 20460
                     The issue of funding must be considered. Student salaries,
                      the Youth Coordinator's salary, and transportation costs
                      make up the bulk of expenses. Student expenses must
                      also include both liability and health and accident insur-
                      ance for the protection of the student and the host work-
                      site. To address this important issue, the Y & E program
                      relies on joint ventures with established youth employ-
                      ment programs such as those supported by the U.S.
                      Department of Labor. Other items provided include: uni-
                      forms for the students and safety equipment. Both public
                      and private funding sources should be considered.

                     The local wastewater treatment facility or facilities in your
                      area are ideal training bases provided they are willing to
                      get involved. The work assignments should be designed
                      to provide meaningful employment and exposure to work
                      in the water and wastewater fields. Participants should
                      receive a "hands-on" education and experience. Contact
                      your State Environmental Training Center or other quali-
                      fied entities to establish options for the academic compo-
                      nent of the program.

                     npproach secondary schools in your area to select appro-
                      priate participants. Student selection is important.
                       et an early start on designing your program. Gathering
                      the necessary funding, students and treatment plant par-
                      ticipation can be time consuming. Solid preparation will
                      assure the success of your program.