News Release

Barbara A. Lee, Director

January 26, 2017

Contact: Jorge Moreno
(916) 869-5422

New Graduates Trained for Environmental Jobs in Communities Impacted by

LOS ANGELES – A ceremony will take place on Friday to recognize a new group of 18 students who have completed training at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College (LATTC) and are now certified as lead sampling technicians to perform soil sampling for lead in their communities around the closed Exide facility in Vernon. Graduates are currently working with sampling contractors hired by the Department of Toxic Substances Control under the Workforce for Environmental Restoration in Communities (WERC) program to sample soil in the neighborhoods impacted by the former lead-battery recycling facility.

The WERC program aims to employ trained community residents by promoting the use of targeted local hire requirements for contracting employment of women, disadvantaged workers and local community residents for jobs that may otherwise be filled by workers from other areas. A total of 49 students have received training from LATTC under the WERC program since it began in the summer of 2016.

“The WERC program is an important step towards environmental justice in the neighborhoods surrounding Exide. I have great appreciation for the skills and opportunities I’ve gained to help our communities have a future that is not only environmentally safe, but economically strong as well,” said Carlos Jimenez of Maywood, a WERC graduate.

The students will be joined by family members, state and local elected officials and others as they receive their certifications in a graduation ceremony in the cafeteria at LATTC.

Date: Friday Jan. 27, 2017

Time: 6:00 p.m.

Location: LATTC, 400 West Washington Blvd., Los Angeles

Media are invited to interview some of these students at the event. Most are bilingual Spanish-speakers. Media trucks may park in the K-Mall next to the cafeteria, just off Grand Avenue and just south of Washington Blvd.

More information can be found on our Site Mitigation and Restoration Program page.

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FOR GENERAL INQUIRIES: Contact the Department of Toxic Substances Control by phone at (800) 728-6942 or visit To report illegal handling, discharge, or disposal of hazardous waste, call the Waste Alert Hotline at (800) 698-6942.

The mission of DTSC is to protect California’s people and environment from harmful effects of toxic substances by restoring contaminated properties, enforcing hazardous waste law, reducing hazardous waste generation, and encouraging the manufacture of chemically safer products.