EPA Awards Cooperative Agreement to ECA and Penn State for Urban IPM Technician Training Program

The Energy Coordinating Agency (ECA) in partnership with Penn State’s PA IPM program has received a cooperative agreement of $200,000 from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to conduct the Urban Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Technician Training program.

The IPM training program’s emphasis is to train local Philadelphia residents in pest control and pest management to assist other local neighborhood residents. ECA and IPM have identified a critical need for these trained technicians.

Additional partners include Pest Free Maintenance, Creative Insight Community Development, Ebony Suns, ConidioTec, Hunting Park NAC, Strawberry Mansion NAC, HACE, and the Philadelphia Energy Authority. Orientation for the first cohort will be held on May 25. Classes will start on June 6.

“EPA is thrilled to support this program to train 30 members of the community to become licensed pesticide applicators,” said Adam Ortiz, EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator. “Their pest management service will focus on helping residents of 40 low-income homes in an underserved North Philadelphia area, so that is an added bonus. It’s also a great opportunity for these trainees, who receive the skills and expertise to better prepare them for future high-demand jobs, and to potentially start their own businesses right in our neighborhoods with environmental justice concerns.”

The U.S. Department of Labor lists median pay for these positions at $18/hour or $37,820/year and projects that the pest control occupation will grow 10% over the next 10 years. Trainees receive instruction toward a professional license, a uniform and personal protective equipment, with access to the network of providers and customers in the region.

These services will qualify the protected homes for energy conservation and repair programs, after previous exclusions due to pest issues. The long-range goal is to help transform pest control in Philadelphia by targeting the unhealthy living conditions pests create, addressing other issues of family health and safety, stabilizing low-income homes in gentrifying neighborhoods and training critically needed pest control technicians using least-toxic integrated pest management materials and techniques.

PA IPM is an autonomous, grant-funded program housed within Penn State Extension. PA IPM is a collaboration between the PA Department of Agriculture and the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Entomology. The mission of PA IPM is to promote effective pest management that results in the efficient protection of our food, fiber, health, home and industrial resources in a manner that is profitable, safe and environmentally compatible.

ECA’s mission is to help people conserve energy and promote a sustainable and socially equitable energy future for all. Each year, for low-income families, ECA weatherizes 800 homes; repairs/replaces 5,000 heaters; provides utility bill payment assistance for more than 6,000 families; and conducts do-it-yourself home weatherization workshops for 2,000 families. Each year, through ECA’s nationally accredited IREC, ESCO and EPA programs, 500 men and women—including veterans and returning citizens—are trained and credentialed for high demand, clean energy careers.

For more information, contact:

Media Questions: Chris Petersen, Director of Development, ECA, , (267) 257-6118

Student Recruitment Questions: Russell Hicks, Recruitment & Placement Specialist, ECA, , (267) 872-6636

Source: https://www.northeastipm.org/ipm-in-action/current-news/epa-awards-cooperative-agreement-to-eca-and-penn-state-for-urban-ipm-technician-training-program/