About National PETE

Kirk Laflin, Director of National PETE

The National Partnership for Environmental Technology Education (NPETE) has a long and rich history in working to meet the nation’s environmental, health and safety, energy and homeland security education and training needs. These needs continue to be addressed through community, tribal, and technical colleges in collaboration with industry and government partners. The purpose of this report is to provide an overview of the history of NPETE and a summary of the many accomplishments of the organization since its inception.

In 1991, the need for a broad, cooperative effort directed toward the enhancement of science, mathematics and technical education, including environmental science and technology, was recognized as a national priority by government, industry, and the academic community. In an effort to address this need, the National Partnership for Environmental Technology Education (NPETE) was established as a regional non-profit organization designed to link the technical resources of the Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Defense (DoD), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and NASA Laboratories, other federal and state agencies, private industry and professional societies with participating community colleges. Initially, NPETE’s programmatic focus was to

  • Assist in the development and implementation of curricula for training environmental-hazardous materials technicians
  • Encourage more transfer students to pursue studies in environmental science, engineering and management at four-year institutions,
  • Promote technology transfer,
  • Conduct special projects designed to enhance the participation of underrepresented minorities and women in environmental fields.

The NPETE network, originally piloted in the five western states of Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada and Utah, expanded to include six regional public/private partnerships (Western PETE, Northwest PETE, North Central PETE, Northeast PETE, Southeast PETE, and South Central PETE) serving all fifty states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. territories. Though the primary focus of the organization was originally on environmental-hazardous materials program development and implementation, the organization has since expanded into the areas of occupational health and safety, energy, and homeland security.

I would like to express my sincere appreciation to all of our partners and funding agencies for your ongoing commitment to the organization. I would also like to thank all of the many key contributors who were involved in the creation and evolution of NPETE over the years. Without your innovative ideas, content expertise, dedication and tireless hard work in promoting the organization, none of our accomplishments would have been possible.


Kirk Laflin, Executive Director of National PETE

View the complete History of PETE (PDF Download)