Tromping around the classroom in oversized moon suits, a class of disadvantaged, young adults from New Jersey's inner cities will learn how to start a career cleaning up hazardous wastes a thing or two about life on May 12, 2010 at NJIT. The program, run under the auspices of the New Jersey Youth Corps, aims to put people to work, plus teach them life skills, including completing a high school diploma.
ATTENTION REPORTERS AND PHOTOGRAPHERS: Arrive for photos and lively classroom discussion by 1 p.m. on May 12. Call Sheryl Weinstein, 973-596-3436, to reserve parking.
“Learning how to work safely is the first step in the training program to help these students start a career path as environmental technicians,” said Albert Arnofsky, an environmental health and safety specialist with NJIT’s Division of Continuing Professional Education. Arnofsky, who teaches the class, is a chemical engineer. He says that when students finish this intensive training they will be valuable assets to New Jersey’s initiatives to recover contaminated properties and create both green properties and jobs.
NJIT teachers provide instruction on how to wear and work in the protective gear, and the skills to function as a technician in the environmental arena. Workers wear the suits to clean up contaminated property and old buildings—also known as brown fields.
The program is part of NJIT's ongoing mission to foster economic development at all levels throughout the state. NJIT has been doing health and safety programs like this one since 1990. New Jersey companies hire program graduates at salaries starting upwards of $25,000.