Unity in the Family Ministry Awarded Contract to Conduct Pensacola Worker Training with Dillard University’s Environmental Justice Center Grant will provide research and training in developing environmental workforce.


Dr. Beverly Wright, the Executive Director of the Environmental Justice Center, along with Dillard’s program staff, will be conducting training for Unity in the Family’s program managers this week in Pensacola. Following the training, Unity in the Family plans to launch a recruitment campaign for members of underserved populations as well as currently employed workers within environmental remediation and related fields. This is occurring because the National Institute of Environmental Health Institutes of Health Sciences (NIEHS) of the National Institute of Health (NIH) awarded a $10.5 million grant to Dillard’s Deep South Center for Environmental Justice (DSCEJ). The worker training initiatives will occur at strategic sites across the Gulf Coast and throughout the country with training programs established in Houston, Detroit, Pensacola, Savannah and New Orleans. Dillard’s consortium of training sites will attract and provide training for over 500 participants.

Unity in the Family Ministry, based in Pensacola, will officially introduce details of its formal agreement with Dillard University’s Deep South Center for Environmental Justice (DSCEJ) to provide training for individuals in asbestos, lead, construction, and Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER).

A news conference on Thursday, November 5, 2015 at 10:00 AM will provide additional information. The conference will be conducted at 615 North “W” Street in Pensacola.

The award to Dillard was one of only 10 grants awarded nationwide to institutions including UCLA, Rutgers Biomedical and Behavioral Sciences, and the United Steelworkers. The Pensacola worker training initiative will be conducted by Unity in the Family Ministry’s CEO, Dr. Calvin Avant, and Mr. Tony McCray, Jr. of Tony McCray and Associates spearheading the project.

Dr. Wright and Dillard’s DSCEJ have managed a number of projects from NIH, Housing and Urban Development (HUD), U.S. Department of Labor, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over the past 20 years. The Center also led critical training and research efforts in the gulf coast region for small businesses, first responders, residents and hazardous waste industry workers following Hurricane Katrina in 2005 as well as the Gulf Oil Spill in 2010.

Dr. Wright spoke in favor of the Escambia County Community of Wedgewood’s request for a moratorium on expansion of the landfills in their area earlier in this year. Following that presentation, Wright took a tour of the Wedgewood Community to view the numerous landfills in the area, and decided after that visit to invite Unity in the Family to submit a proposal to operate the environmental jobs training program

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