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OAI, Inc.

WETP Cooperative Agreement Awardee:

Principal Investigator/Institution

Tipawan Reed

Tel (312) 528-3504
Fax (312) 528-3501


OAI, Inc.
180 North Wabash Avenue, Suite 400
Chicago, Illinois 60601 ( Exit NIEHS Website

Program Contact

William J. McVey;
Alex Prentzas

Tel (312) 528-3500
Fax (312) 528-3501


OAI, Inc.
180 North Wabash Avenue, Suite 400
Chicago, Illinois 60601

Target Training Populations

OAI logo The Hazardous Waste Worker Training (HWWT) program will target Emergency First Responders and Workers Handling Hazardous Materials.

The Brownfield Minority Worker Training (BMWT) program will recruit at-risk participants who reside in or near Brownfields Showcase communities, in the USEPA Brownfields Assessment Pilot sites, or in a minimum-security prison facility.

The Minority Worker Training (MWT) program will target historically underrepresented minorities who live in environmentally degraded communities, such as Empowerment Zones, Brownfields Showcase communities and designated Environmental Justice (EJ) neighborhoods. The target population is comprised of unemployed or under-employed individuals faced with multiple barriers to employment. A focus will be placed on recruiting young adults between the ages of 18-25.

Program Description

The long-term objective of the OAI Consortium is to prevent work-related harm by training workers on how to best protect themselves, their communities and the environment.

Consistent with CFR 1210:120, HWWT program will offer varying combinations of technical courses to Emergency First Responders and Workers Handling Hazardous Materials in Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Maine, New Mexico, Georgia, Oklahoma, and Louisiana. OAI will expand its successful capacity-building program that has been evolving since 1999, whereby First Responders will be trained to go into local and regional areas and provide Awareness, Operations, and Technician training to their constituents. Each year the HWWT Program will offer a minimum of 106 courses to 2,230 individuals generating 50,240 total contact hours.

The overall goals of the MWT and BMWT training programs are to foster both economic improvement and environmental awareness and stewardship in individual participants as well as in the community by providing sustainable employment. They are designed to improve basic academic skills, life skills, safety and health awareness, and provide occupational skills training in three skill-tracks--environmental remediation, construction, and Ecological Restoration, including Low Impact Development with a concentration in waterfront development where appropriate. The programs will give participants an opportunity to engage in lifelong learning and prepare for career track positions, apprenticeship and entrepreneurship in the field. The Consortium partners will link minority-led environmental and community-based organizations with union-based apprenticeship, academic, and technical training programs as well as local employers and contractors.

The Consortium will expand upon the successes of OAI’s MWTP, which OAI has conducted both independently and collaboratively throughout the country; since 1995 by implementing programs in four metropolitan areas around the country. The sites are the Bronx, NY; Washington, DC; Chicago, IL; and Houston, TX. The Consortium partners include OAI, Inc. (OAI), lead grant applicant, and two sub-grantees, Wheeler Creek CDC (WCCDC) and Make Ready Inc. (MRI). Annually, the four MWT Programs will collectively deliver a total of 410-425 contact hours of training to 140 students, totaling 69,944 contact hours.

The Consortium will implement BMWT programs in Kansas City, MO and Dallas, TX. Annually, the two BMWT Programs will deliver a total of 410-425 contact hours of training to 50 students resulting in a total of 24,974 contact hours.

Project Duration

  • September 1, 2005 - July 31, 2010

Grant Number

  • U45ES07850

Other Participating Organizations

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Last Reviewed: May 07, 2007