July 31, 2018
Dr. Tonnia Thomas is executive director of a nonprofit called Training to Work an Industry Niche (TWIN).
Last year, the nonprofit operated a pilot program; this year it begins full-scale operations to train people to take jobs in hazardous waste cleanup and similar environmental work.
Last year, all of the first eight students completed training and received their certificates, which are required to take such jobs. TWIN plans to train about 10 students at a time, perhaps four times a year. Students will get about six weeks of training, free courtesy of a an Environmental Protection Agency grant to Thomas’ agency.
Thomas’ visit to the Forum was part of an outreach effort to reach prospective students, who could possibly be described as adults with few other opportunities but to prepare for hazardous work that could endanger their health. Worker endangerment was a theme of a number of the skeptical questions Thomas faced. Her answers focused on quality of the training, and being upfront with candidates for certification about the risks.
In the video below, Thomas’s presentation begins at minute 8:21. The Q&A begins at minute 20:55.
Below the video are the slides projected in the Forum meeting room during Thomas’ presentation.