News and Notes

A Newsletter for Faculty and Staff of Idaho State University

December 6, 2010 — Vol. 26 No. 41

ISU Workforce Training Receives Safety Training Grant

The Idaho State University College of Technology Workforce Training department is the recipient of a $190,000 Susan Harwood Training Grant from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

This one-year grant provides federal financial assistance to expand the capacity of Idaho State University to provide effective occupational safety training and related services to employers and workers in Idaho through the creation of an Occupational Safety Training Center.

The project began in October with a focus on serving workers in small manufacturing companies (those with fewer than 250 employees) and workers in hazardous occupations such as fire/emergency services. A needs assessment is being used to identify specific training needs.

Studies also address barriers to training posed by the geography of the state, the steady increase in new hiring of individuals to work in small manufacturing firms, the increase in the number of non-English speaking workers, and a lack of affordable and available training for workers in hazardous occupations.

In addition to traditional face-to-face instruction, the project will utilize distance learning technology-including web-based training, and interactive video instruction via the Idaho Education Network-to overcome barriers to safety training. Virtually all educational programs will be digitized and archived in an accessible on-line library for continued availability to employers and workers.

Workforce Training is designated by the State of Idaho to provide incumbent worker training. The department provides short-term, non-credit training instruction including customized training programs (face-to-face and via distance learning) for individuals in businesses, schools, non-profit organizations, and government agencies. Workforce Training has developed and delivered quality occupational health and safety training programs in the past and sponsored Idaho's first Safety Fest in 2009, reaching over 1,000 workers.