Deep South Center's Worker Training Graduates Join a Large Workforce to Search for Debris from the Columbia Space Shuttle Explosion

On February 22, 2003, the DSCEJ’s worker training program sent out a crew of program graduates to join a large workforce of government and non-government personnel who were assigned to comb the woods of East Texas in search of crucial debris from the Columbia Space Shuttle.  The work was intense, and often performed under harsh conditions (hot weather, presence of snakes, long hours). In addition, some of their discoveries were particularly gruesome (body parts from the astronauts). Fifteen program graduates traveled with the first crew: Edwin Batiste, Eugene Bedou, Henry Breaux, Darryl Davis, Tracy Johnson, Romalis Hebert, Kevin Hyde, Damon Gatlin, Tyrone Jackson, Clarence Jones, Omar Scott, Jermaine Smith, Shawn Smith, Richard Smith, and Brandon Wiley. Five additional program graduates joined the crew several weeks later: Jamal Miller, Lawrence Myers, Edward Nedd, Jason Skinner, and Kenneth White. These graduates spanned Minority Worker Training Program years 1 through 5, Brownfields Minority Worker Training Program years 1 and 2 (funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences - NIEHS), and Canal Lock Replacement Job Training Program years 1 and 2 (funded by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers).

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