Earth Conservancy, PSU WB offering workforce training program

By Kulsoom Khan - [email protected]

A local nonprofit is partnering with Penn State Wilkes-Barre to offer a training program with classes focused on environmental technologies without the cost of traditional college tuition.

Earth Conservancy, an organization based in Ashley, is launching its Environmental Workforce Training Program. Funded by a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the program will allow unemployed, underemployed and dislocated workers in Northeastern Pennsylvania the opportunity to study surveying and technologies and gain environmental skills.

The program includes eight courses and participants will earn 20.5 hours of continuing education credit from the Pennsylvania State University and three federally-recognized certifications. Students will also receive job placement assistance through local PA CareerLink partners.

Dr. Elizabeth Hughes, of Earth Conservancy, says the program is different from that of other grant recipients.

“We focused on the unique challenges of brownfields in the anthracite region, that being the environmental and economic legacies of the historic anthracite industry,” she said. “We tailored this program with our partner Penn State Wilkes-Barre to teach skills that might help mend those damages through surveying and mapping skills.”

Earth Conservancy is currently accepting applications for the 2018 program. Up to 25 students will be accepted. The program will begin in February at the Penn State Wilkes-Barre campus in Lehman. Courses will run through May. Applicants are required to be 18 or older, hold a high school diploma or GED, and be a resident of Northeastern Pennsylvania.

An information session will be held for those interested on Wednesday at 10 a.m. at PA CareerLink Luzerne County located at 32 East Union Street, Wilkes-Barre. Registration for the event is available online at

By Kulsoom Khan

[email protected]