The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA

3193.0: Monday, November 11, 2002 - 12:48 PM

Abstract #47123

A collaborative approach to environmental and occupational health and safety training for groups of under and unemployed community members in Flint and Detroit, Michigan

Luis A. Vazquez, MPH, UAW Health & Safety Department, UAW Health & Safety Department, 8000 East Jefferson Ave, Detroit, MI 48214, 313-926-5612,, Judith A. Daltuva, MSW, MA, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, University of Michigan School of Public Health, 109 Observatory, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2029, Craig Regester, SEMCOSH, 7752 W. Vernor, Detroit, MI 48209, Donele Wilkins, AS, DWEJ, CAAA Steering Committee Member, PO Box 14944, Detroit, MI 48214, Flora McCormack, ECT, 10407 E. Grand River Ave., Ste. 800, Brighton, MI 48116, and Cynthia Priestly, TRW Automotive, 7300 Whitmore Lake Rd., Brighton, MI 48116.

In 2001, Environmental Consulting Technology, Inc. (ECT) received a grant from the US EPA to deliver an environmental technician training program for community members in Flint, MI. Flint's Urban League provided training facilities, trainee recruitment, and a job fair at the end of the twelve-week program. The United Auto Workers (UAW) and Southeast Michigan Coalition on Occupational Safety and Health (SEMCOSH) jointly provided 40-hour Emergency Response Technician Level programs using NIEHS funding and UAW worker trainers. This unique collaborative partnership provided 65 underemployed and unemployed community members with the skills to help them get Brownfields-related work. ECT and the Urban League in Flint tracked subsequent job acquisition of its trainees. Once the Flint program was completed, UAW and SEMCOSH expanded their activity to include Detroit-based community environmental organization Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice (DWEJ). DWEJ provided an additional 25 underemployed community members who were trained along with consultation of ECT, and program evaluation provided by UAW's partners at the University of Michigan. Participants received 40-hour OSHA HAZWOPER Technician Level training certificates, qualifying them to work in diverse environmental jobs, including Brownfields assessment and analysis, Brownfields cleanup, and support roles during hazardous materials cleanup operations. Project highlights include: pre-training planning meetings to discuss roles, equipment, training delivery, pre and post-training evaluation, and follow-up steps.

Lessons learned include: The amount of time spent by collaborative partners prior to training, in planning and implementation is crucial to a successful outcome. Worker trainers are a valuable resource in connecting with community members.

Learning Objectives: Objectives