Veterans looking for a strong career move after military discharge are smart to consider the Earth Conservancy Environmental Workforce Training (EWT) program.

Based in Ashley, Pennsylvania, Earth Conservancy is a non-profit organization working to restore local lands damaged by the coal mining industry. The 205-hour EWT program is geared specifically toward individuals interested in careers in the environmental, surveying and construction fields. It features an in-depth course curriculum taught by educators from nearby Penn State Wilkes-Barre, along with immersive, in-the-field training.

Why is the EWT program such a good fit for veterans?

Earth Conservancy offers veterans preferred entry into the program as well as job placement assistance upon graduation. Graduates also leave with a letter of recommendation and a professional résumé and cover letter.

“Veterans—with their technical training, work ethic, ability to work as part of a team and willingness to work outdoors—are a particularly good fit for the program,” said Earth Conservancy Communications Director Elizabeth Hughes in a recent article spotlighting the program.

The EWT program is funded by a grant from the United States Environmental Protection Agency and consists of the following eight courses: Introduction to Brownfields; OSHA 40-Hour HAZWOPER Training; AutoCAD, Level I; Surveying Field Assistant; Basic Land Surveying Techniques; GIS for Resource Conservation; OSHA 10-Hour Safety Training; and First Aid/CPR/AED.

Graduates will come away with 20.5 hours of continuing education credit from Penn State University, along with three federally-recognized certifications (HAZWOPER 40, OSHA 10, First Aid). Of the most recent EWT program graduating class, 90 percent of participants are employed.

Interested in applying for the EWT program? Get your ducks in a row now.

Preferred entry is offered to veterans who can provide proof of service, which means you will need a copy of your DD214 before beginning the application process. If your discharge date is approaching, make sure you have your DD214 in hand before leaving the service.

For those veterans who have been discharged already, your DD214 is one of the most important documents you possess, especially when it comes to showing potential employers you received an honorable discharge from the U.S. military. If you never received a copy of your DD214, or if yours has been lost or damaged, be sure to secure a new copy before starting your employment search.

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