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Your Environment. Your Health.

The Steelworkers Charitable and Educational Organization

Principal Investigator / Institution

Ashlee Fitch
Tel 412-562-2400
Fax 412-562-2584
The Steelworkers Charitable and Educational Organization
60 Boulevard of the Allies
Suite 904
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222

Program Description

United Steelworkers of America logo

The Steelworkers Charitable and Educational Organization (SCEO), the nonprofit arm of the United Steelworkers (USW), supports a training partnership linking two of the largest U.S.-based industrial unions with rapidly-expanding immigrant worker centers. The Tony Mazzocchi Center (TMC), the SCEO's training entity, brings together the USW, the Communications Workers of America (CWA), the Labor Institute (LI), the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON), and Make the Road New York (MRNY). The TMC provides workers and community residents with training to help prevent toxic releases, fires, explosions, injuries, sickness, and death.

The TMC has access to more than 1.2 million USW/CWA workers and managers at facilities located in each U.S. state, as well as Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands. They work in oil, chemical manufacturing, nuclear energy, pharmaceuticals, pulp, paper, automobile parts, appliance manufacturing, cement, metal manufacturing, construction, rubber, plastics, shipbuilding, light manufacturing, telecommunications, transportation, electrical manufacturing, and health care. Approximately 850,000 of these workers are potentially exposed to hazardous substances covered by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) (29 CFR 1910); the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (40 CFR 311); and the U.S. Department of Transportation (49 CFR 171-177).

Hazardous Waste Worker Training Program (HWWTP)

The SCEO conducts courses reaching steelworkers, immigrant day-laborers, and temporary workers who face a myriad of hazards on their ever-shifting work sites. With the USW, the CWA, and worker center worker-trainers, the SCEO provides training to those on the front lines in the fight to address environmental and hazardous waste threats to the public health of workers, communities, and Worker Training Program (WTP) stakeholders. Hazardous materials, Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER), and related OSHA training is provided by USW/CWA members who produce, dispose of, and transport billions of pounds of hazardous substances and wastes.

Environmental Career Worker Training Program (ECWTP)

The SCEO identifies, recruits, trains, and secures jobs for unemployed and underemployed workers in New York City who live in communities where they are disproportionately exposed to environmental hazards and are at risk of the inequitable health consequences of those exposures. The SCEO finds jobs for successful trainees in environmental construction; environmental cleanup (including cleanup of hazardous waste and hazardous materials) and green cleaning; and in green community health services. The ECWTP effort expands a partnership between the TMC and MRNY, the fastest-growing center for immigrant workers in the U.S.

HAZMAT Disaster Preparedness Training Program (HDPTP)

A key aim of the HDPTP is to continue to develop the expert Specialized Emergency Response Trainers (SERTs) cadre who serve as a part of the national WTP team, ready to respond to any emergency anywhere, and serve as the team that responds immediately to emergencies when called upon to provide on-the-spot training to their workers in high-hazard facilities like oil, nuclear, and petrochemical. Additional key aims are to develop a new cadre of 15 bilingual SERTs from worker centers and form an infectious disease SERTs working group.

NIEHS/U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Nuclear Worker Training Program

Together, the USW and the CWA represent approximately 3,876 workers employed at 10 DOE sites in nine different states, involving more than 25 contractors. By combining the expertise of the USW, the CWA, the LI, the NDLON, MRNY, and other key occupational health professionals, they conduct trainings that help workers and nearby community residents better protect themselves during emergencies and help implement strategies to prevent potentially deadly accidents and releases into the environment. For training, the SCEO targets workers whose jobs (primarily site remediation and reclamation) put them at risk of exposure to hazardous materials and waste and risks associated with hazardous materials incidents. These cleanup programs generate hazardous waste that must be removed, containerized, stored, processed, and shipped by site workers. As a result of the National Defense Authorization Act of 1993, Section 3161(c), members have moved from production to cleanup contracts.

Ebola Biosafety and Infectious Disease Response Training

The Tony Mazzocchi Center health and safety training partnership (TMC) – which includes the United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union (USW); the Communications Workers of America (CWA)and an affiliate union, the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA); the Labor Institute (Ll); Make the Road New York (MRNY); and the National Day Laborers Organizing Network (NDLON) and its affiliates – will continue their Ebola training that was started under the NIEHS WTP grant and the Ebola Supplemental award. Their partnership proposes to train workers who are at risk of exposure to Ebola and other infectious diseases through their employment. The Steelworkers represent 65,100 healthcare workers, 40,000 airline flight attendants, and 7,500 airline airport agents and baggage handlers, 100,000 corrections workers, 15,000 social service workers, and 75,000 telecommunications workers. They also represent thousands of immigrant workers who are employed as community health workers, airline cleaners, baggage handlers, and other cleaners in and around hospitals that have been designated as Ebola treatment centers. Awareness Level training for trainers and pilot training for a total of 143 at-risk union and immigrant workers will be conducted. The consortium will conduct extensive Ebola awareness level train-the-trainer programs for union and immigrant worker trainers in English and Spanish. These trainers, in turn, will conduct pilot Ebola awareness level training for healthcare workers, airline flight attendants, airline airport agents, baggage handlers, community health workers, airline cleaners, and other workers engaged in the cleaning industries. This program proposed to field the largest Spanish-language training capacity in the country to conduct Ebola / infectious disease training for at-risk immigrant populations. In the first year of this grant, they propose to reach 1,602 workers with 11,440 contact hours of Ebola / infectious disease training. These workers will add to the pool of trainers available to be deployed during outbreaks wherever and whenever training is needed.

Project Duration

  • August 1, 2015 - July 31, 2020 (HWWTP, ECWTP, HDPTP)
  • September 1, 2015 - August 31, 2020 (DOE)
  • June 1, 2016 - May 31, 2019 (Ebola Biosafety and Infectious Disease Response)

Grant Numbers

  • U45 ES006175-26 (HWWTP, ECWTP, HDPTP)
  • UH4 ES009761-26 (DOE)
  • UH4 ES027003-01 (Ebola Biosafety and Infectious Disease Response)

Other Participating Organizations

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