YouthBuild teaches hazmat removal classes

Published 7:00 am Saturday, March 19, 2016

This week, students at the Bogalusa YouthBuild program wrapped up training for handling hazardous material — just in time to help area residents clean up their homes and businesses.

The YouthBuild program is run through Northshore Technical Community College and the training was part of the community college’s high school diploma equivalency program. Some AmeriCorps workers, community workers who are assigned to low-income areas, also attended the program.

This hazardous materials training was the first such program offered in Washington Parish.

“This is the beginning of a lot of short-term courses we’ll be offering to help the community prepare for the workforce,” said Danielle Keys, executive director of the YouthBuild program.

Jason Frosch and Sean Brady, two St. Tammany Parish firefighters who are also members of their Hazmat team, taught the classes. The course was a three-day program stretching over several weeks and although it was not held to coincide with the flood, its timing could not have been better.

“Once they get this training, they’ll be working with the city and other cleanup groups,” Keys said.

Dewayne Lambert, the dean of technical studies at Northshore, said older buildings in Bogalusa could have asbestos in the walls or tiling, and the students who went through the program now know how to handle hazardous material safely.

“(Public Works Director James) Hall said they have a list of houses that were flooded, and after training they’re going to get with church groups and see what needs there are,” Lambert said.

Keys said she didn’t know when the next such course would be offered, but they do expect to offer another course in the future.

For more information about YouthBuild, call 985-732-6875 or visit online at