Department of Toxic Substances Control Department of Toxic Substances Control

Workforce for Environmental Restoration in Communities (WERC)

About the Program

DTSC has created a local workforce development and job training program to train and promote hiring of residents in communities near the former Exide Technologies facility. In the recently advertised Invitation for Bid (IFB) for lead assessment contractors for the project, DTSC included a 40% local hire requirement for trained local residents to complete sampling and assessment field work. Thanks to the advice and guidance from workforce development programs and training partners, nonprofit organizations, community stakeholders, and local governments, Phase I of the Program began the week of July 18, 2016, and focused on providing training for Lead Sampling Technicians.

This Program directly supports Governor Brown's plan to advance and expand the cleanup of residential properties, schools, daycare centers, and parks around the former Exide facility in Vernon. The Program was also established with the passage of Assembly Bill 118 (Santiago) and Senate Bill 93 (De León), which guide DTSC to create a program that promotes public health and supports the local economy. This Program aims to expand community engagement in the testing and cleanup process, provide environmental skills training, health &safety training, and support job placement related to the sampling and cleanup activities.


Phase I

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) certified students as Lead Sampling Technicians to safely perform lead sampling in their communities.

Phase II

Phase II of the WERC Program will include training for skilled jobs in soil remediation, lead hazard control, interior home cleaning, landscaping, and health education.


  • Support for seeking sustainable employment
  • College credits for future academic interests
  • LATTC Student Health Care
  • Supportive resources
  • Pre-employment life skills training

WERC photo 1


Los Angeles Trade-Technical College (LATTC) is a public two-year college with an 80+ year history of educating and preparing the Los Angeles workforce for carreers in industries that fuel the regional economy.

The UCLA Labor Occupational Safety and Health Program (UCLA-LOSH) is a nationally recognized center providing education, research, and other health and safety resources to workers throughout Southern California.

Thermo-Fisher Scientific is a manufacturer and provider of XRF portable instrumentation.  XRF is a non-destructive analytical technique used to determine the elemental composition of materials.

The National Association of Training and Environmental Consulting (NATEC International, Inc.) is one of the largest training companies in California and has twenty-five years of experience in providing accredited hazardous material related training courses.


DTSC is working with two lead sampling contractors for Phase I. Phase I WERC graduates interviewed with:

  • Arcadis Environmental
  • EFI Global, Inc.

WERC photo 2


Forty-nine students have graduated from the WERC Program as Certified Lead Sampling Technicians. DTSC's lead sampling contractors hired forty-five students from the class.


Next steps in developing the Program will include training on soil cleanup, lead hazard control, interior home cleaning, landscaping, and health education. Phase II will involve positions as Initial Lead Workers, Lead Supervisors, Community Workers (Administrative Support), Landscapers, and Community Health Workers/Educators. A few of the courses offered for Phase II Training includes Asbestos Worker Initial Certification, Lead Worker Initial, Certification Lead Awareness Confined Space Awareness, and Pre-Employment Skills. Phase II Training is scheduled to begin May 8th, 2017.

DTSC looks to continue building partnerships with community organizations, workforce experts, and other agencies in creating and implementing the next phase of the program. DTSC plans to enroll residents from Boyle Heights, East Los Angeles, Commerce, Maywood, Bell, Huntington Park and Vernon in the WERC Program.


When: Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017 6:30-8:00pm
Where: Los Angeles Trade-Technical College
Aspen Hall, Room 101

400 W. Washington Blvd.
Los Angeles CA 90015

Parking is free in the Olive Street Structure. The training program is a partnership between Los Angeles Trade-Technical College and the California Department of Toxic Substances Control.

Orientación para el Entrenamiento de la Segunda Fase
Cuando: miércoles, 3 de mayo, 2017 6:30-8:00pm
Donde: Los Angeles Trade-Technical College

Edificio Aspen, Salón 101
400 W. Washington Blvd.

Los Angeles CA 90015

El estacionamiento es gratis en la estructura que puede encontrar por la Calle Olive. Este programa de entrenamiento es una colaboración entre El Colegio de Capacitación Técnica de Los Angeles y el Departamento del Control de Sustancias Tóxicas.


If you are interested in receiving information on future trainings or finding out if you qualify for the program, please contact Andres Martinez at (916) 701-3517 or at

And register online at:

WERC photo 3