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Community College Consortium for Health and Safety Training


The Community College Consortium for Health and Safety Training (CCCHST) consists of community colleges partnered with business and industry, universities, and community-based organizations to offer a consistent and quality response to the national training need for hazardous waste workers and emergency response personnel. CCCHST is administered by the Partnership for Environmental Technology Education (PETE), in partnership with ATEEC and the Hazardous Materials Training and Research Institute (HMTRI).

From 1992 to 2012, CCCHST grew from five members to 137 training organizations with 220 trainers in 34 states and one U.S. territory.The number of CCCHST members, courses delivered, and students and workers enrolled in these courses have grown 1,000 percent over the past 19 years of NIEHS (National Institute of Environmental Health and Safety) support. This growth is an indication of CCCHST’s success and of the nation’s continuing demand for quality training for hazardous waste workers and emergency response personnel. Last year CCCHST instructors delivered 2,633 classes for 38,498 workers providing 337,727 contact hours of training. HMTRI has received NIEHS funding since 1992 to provide management, instructor training and certification, curriculum, textbooks, instructional aids, quality control, and evaluation for members of the CCCHST national consortium. Over 50% of the funding goes directly to participants to support refresher training, GreatEST training, recordkeeping, and reportingexpenses.

Annually, PETE and HMTRI/Eastern Iowa Community Colleges provide an intensive 10-day Great Environmental Safety Trainers (GreatEST) Train-the-Trainer Institute for new CCCHST instructors. The Institute is supplemented with Internet-supported instructor training. New instructors receive travel expenses and a large electronic library of health and safety training materials.


CCCHST’s GreatEST FY’12 Train-the-Trainer was held June 13-22 at Eastern Iowa Community Colleges with 18 participants in attendance. PETE welcomed six new organizations to the CCCHST family: Eight North Indian Pueblos Council, NM; Actavis Mid Atlantic, NC; Mineral Area College, MO; Forsyth Technical Community College, NC; Spiegel Safety and Training, WA; and the City of Dubuque, IA.  CCCHST institutions sending trainers included: Uintah Basin Applied Technology College, UT; York Technical College, SC; Texas State Technical College West Texas; Crowder College, MO; University of Louisiana at Lafayette; South Central College, MN; Blue Ridge Community College, NC; Wake Technical Community College, NC; Alabama Technology Network of the Alabama Community College System; and Prince William Sound Community College, AK.

A second Train-the-Trainer was held at Mission College in Santa Clara, California, July 8-14 with carryover funds from the fiscal year (FY) 2011 NIEHS grant. This second training was held in an attempt to get more California programs back into CCCHST membership. Community colleges in California have had a ban on travel and many of the programs have been discontinued because of budget cuts. The training was only seven days long compared to the 10-day training offered in Iowa and it focused on environmental response.

Next year’s GreatEST Institute will be June 3 through 14 in Davenport, Iowa. If you are interested in attending the Institute or would like more information on CCCHST, please contact Patti Thompson,