In April 1996, NIOSH and its partners unveilled the National Occpational Research Agenda (NORA), a framework to guide occupational safety and health research into the next decade - not only for NIOSH but for the entire occupational safety and health community. Approximately 500 organizations and individuals outside NIOSH provided input into the development of the Agenda. Before NORA, no national research agenda existed in thefield of occupational safety and health, and no research agenda in any field had captured such broad input and consensus, The NORA process resulted in a remarkable consensus about the top 21 research priorities. NORA arose out of a need to address changes in the U.S. workplace as well as the increasingly diversified U.S. workforce. The distribution of jobs in our economy continues to shift from manufacturing to services. Longer hours, compressed workweeks, shiftwork, reduced job security, and part-time and temporary work are realities of the modern workplace. By the year 2005, the U.S. workforce will grow to an estimated 147 million, minorities will represent 28% of the workforce, and women approximately 48%.