Free Job Training for Unemployed Memphis Residents

EPA grant administered by Memphis Bioworks provides job training and placement assistance

MEMPHIS, Tennessee (March 20, 2015) – Funded in part by a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Memphis Clean and Green Job Training Program has opened enrollment for free job training and placement assistance to unemployed, under-employed and dislocated residents of Shelby County. Weekly information sessions for those interested in the program will take place at 10:00 a.m. every Tuesday at Memphis Bioworks, 20 Dudley St., on the first floor.

The program is administered by Memphis Bioworks, in partnership with area organizations, with the purpose of training 75 local workers in jobs such as environmental technician, emergency response technician, energy auditor, abatement specialist, and construction positions. Training will be provided at no cost to participants, and job placement assistance will be provided upon successful completion of the program.

“We’re preparing our applicants for work in the environmental and energy efficiency markets,” said Dana Dorsey, job training manager for Memphis Bioworks.  “Our goal is to identify the right partners and train applicants in new skills needed for local jobs in emerging employment sectors.”

Environmental job training will consist of two weeks of core training, including seven awareness courses, CPR/First-Aid/AED/Bloodborne Pathogens, Hazardous Materials Transportation, and Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER). Participants will then have the option for additional technical training in one of two specialized job tracks that include education in energy efficiency/retrofit and construction/healthy homes.

To qualify for the program, applicants must be residents of Memphis and at least 18 years of age. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED, and they must be unemployed, or earning less than $15 an hour.  Additional qualifications can be found here.

This training program is designed to provide workforce support for the Clean and Green Initiative, a five-year sustainability strategy for the City of Memphis that will create local jobs, reduce the City’s operating costs and improve the environment.

Partners providing in-kind training include the City of Memphis Division of Parks and Neighborhoods, the City of Memphis Division of Public Works, EnSafe, MLGW, EnviroRem, and the University of Tennessee Extension – Shelby County.

Memphis Bioworks leads local and regional partnerships among more than 200 training providers and employers.  Recent training efforts have placed workers in the fields of medical research, health and information technology, environmental remediation skills and technologies, and renewable energy/energy efficiency industries, including electrical, construction and manufacturing. Since 2010, Memphis Bioworks’ workforce development efforts have resulted in more than 900 workers trained, more than 550 workers receiving degrees or certificates, and more than 450 workers placed in jobs (and growing).

This is the second EPA Environmental Jobs Training Grant received by Memphis Bioworks.  In the first grant, received in January 2012, Memphis Bioworks enrolled 110 unemployed/underemployed residents and exceeded all training and placement goals.

For additional information, potential applicants are encouraged to attend one of the weekly informational sessions held at 10:00 a.m. every Tuesday at Memphis Bioworks Foundation, 20 Dudley St., First Floor. Free parking is available in the garage on the corner of Union Ave. and Dudley St. 

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About Memphis Bioworks Foundation

Memphis Bioworks is the Mid-South’s go-to organization for creating companies, jobs and investments in bioscience and sustainability.  A visionary community leader, Memphis Bioworks has a well-established record of sparking new levels of economic vitality by investing in entrepreneurs, building state-of-the-art labs and facilities, and training the next generation of workers.  For more information, visit, Facebook at or follow @MemphisBioworks on Twitter.