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Safe • Skilled • Ready Workforce Program

Three Pathways

A goal of this effort is for all workers to have the knowledge and skills to allow them to stay safe on the job and to contribute to safe, healthy, and productive workplaces. The NIOSH Safe–Skilled–Ready Workforce Program will explore ways to promote worker safety and health (through the eight core competencies ) within the areas of Education, Business and Labor, and Health. These pathways are distinct, but they overlap in many ways:

  • Education: Community colleges; high schools, middle schools, and grade schools; national work readiness certificate and credentialing agencies or organizations; youth organizations; and government and nonprofit programs focused on training or retraining youth and adults (often in transition).
    • Example: The new and revised NIOSH Youth@Work-Talking Safety curriculum (to be published fall 2013) is the cornerstone of the NIOSH Safe-Skilled-Ready Workforce Program. It teaches basic workplace safety and health skills through the eight core competencies to middle and high school students. Student comprehension of the materials can be assessed and measured. The curriculum is aligned with the National Health Education Standards (NHES) and will be free and customized for all 50 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. NIOSH is currently exploring opportunities to develop a workplace safety and health curriculum for community colleges.
  • Business and Labor: Industry-focused groups, labor groups, private businesses, and organizations that bridge private and public sector partners involved in work-readiness/skills training initiatives.
    • Example: NIOSH is collaborating with outside experts to merge the Safe-Skilled-Ready Workforce Program with existing, work-readiness efforts. This includes making a business case to organizations for the benefits (increased productivity, a better work environment) of integrating core, workplace safety and health competencies into workforce development programs and initiatives at the national, state, and local level.
  • Health: Primary care providers and pediatricians, government and public health agencies, and global health organizations and private groups.
    • Example: NIOSH is exploring how pediatricians and primary care providers can raise awareness about job-related health risks and promote basic workplace safety and health skills.