Environmental Factor, October 2010, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Generations at Work Celebration spotlights families
By Melissa Kerr
To foster employee work/life balance, the NIEHS Employee Services office presented a Generations at Work Celebration Sept. 21 in conjunction with the Research Triangle Chapter of Blacks In Government (BIG) (http://bignet.org/index.php/regions/regions) Annual Fish Fry. Twenty-nine community organizations, businesses, and NIEHS organizations set up tables lining the Rall Building Mall area. Work/Life events of this kind are a tradition at NIEHS and always include freebees, such as a complimentary bag to hold the various fliers, candy, calendars, and other giveaways that visitors pick up as they visit the booths.
Representatives of the businesses and groups spoke with employees about services that could assist them and their families at every stage of life, from infancy to retirement. From organizations within NIEHS, event-goers were able to get information concerning alternate forms of transportation and how to become a flexitarian by adopting a diet with reduced meat intake, as well as about more ergonomic work environments to help promote health and safety. Advocacy groups, such as those representing persons with disabilities, were also on hand to discuss their programs.
NIEHS Employee Services hosted many service groups, including the North Carolina Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (http://statelibrary.ncdcr.gov/lbph/) , a special public library for people who cannot use regular printed materials; Marbles Kids Museum (http://www.marbleskidsmuseum.org/) , a hands-on museum that promotes learning through play; and the Center for Universal Design (http://www.ncsu.edu/www/ncsu/design/sod5/cud/) , which promotes the belief that built environments and products can be made usable by people of all ages and abilities.
Employee Services Manager Dona McNeill(mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org) said she has "never been disappointed in the way invited organizations share information about themselves and their services." As she explained, NIEHS Work/Life events evolve from year to year, and it is never the same event twice. This year was the first time McNeill and co-organizer intern Jenn Evans(mailto:email@example.com) collaborated with a number of organizations across NIEHS, including the Office of Management, the Diversity Council, the Disability Advocacy Committee, the American Federation of Government Employees, and BIG.
(Melissa Kerr studies chemistry at North Carolina Central University. She is currently an intern in the NIEHS Office of Communications and Public Liaison.)