In June of 1994 in Harrisburg, PA, a five-alarm fire caused substantial damage to the building where PennDOT was headquartered at the time. The building did not contain sprinklers which allowed for the fire to propagate to four floors leaving most of the building contaminated with asbestos and other potential carcinogens.

Joseph "Joe" Cocciardi was a professional in the environmental, health and safety (EHS) industry. He was previously employed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania but left to provide EHS consulting via training and services. His focus was hazardous material teams and companies dealing with toxic waste and remediation. This is where he had a big opportunity - Joe was awarded his first multimillion contract to support the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The work involved an analysis of damage, support for their litigation efforts, and advice to the Center for Disease Control and the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health on their recovery plan. Once the project was complete, it was determined that the 31-year-old building had over $300 million in damages and legal actions against the manufactures of the toxic materials was initiated.

Later Cocciardi founded the Mechanicsburg Training Center which focuses on delivering EHS training content and courses to clients. Cocciardi was one of the first organizations to be certified to provide asbestos training in Pennsylvania. The center also provided training for workers handling lead and other hazardous wastes.

Fast forward to 2021 and Cocciardi Associates joins Pennoni, and the training facility and consulting have continued to thrive. Trainings have gone hybrid or fully remote for the subject matter experts and course facilitators during COVID-19. Today there are 20 full and part time credentialed instructors. Courses that are popular in 2021-2022 include PPE and respiratory fit testing training for employees in nursing homes, schools, and higher education institutions. Other courses that have continued to be full even during the pandemic include the asbestos training, lead training, and OSHA training courses.

If you have questions about how you can cross market our EHS training services, please contact Lynn Stutzman LStutzman@Pennoni.com.