Principal Investigator / Institution

Kevin Riley, Ph.D.
Kevin Riley, Ph.D.
Tel 310-983-3059
Fax 310-794-6403
[email protected]
University of California, Los Angeles
Labor Occupational Safety and Health Program
10945 Le Conte Avenue, Suite 2107
Los Angeles, California 90095-1406


Program Description

Western Region Universities Consortium logo

The overall goal of the Western Region Universities Consortium (WRUC) training program is to protect workers and communities from exposure to hazardous materials and hazardous waste; to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergencies/disasters; and to create pathways to careers in the environmental field and construction industry. WRUC programs are delivered in U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regions 9 and 10 through the University of California, Los Angeles Labor Occupational Safety and Health Program (UCLA-LOSH) as the lead institution; the University of California, Berkeley Labor Occupational Health Program (UCB-LOHP); the Arizona State University Fulton Schools of Engineering Environmental & Resource Management Program (ASU); and the University of Washington Department of Sociology (UW).

The Consortium has developed model programs since 1987 and will continue to do so in the coming five years through three NIEHS components: the Hazardous Waste Worker Training Program (HWWTP), the HAZMAT Disaster Preparedness Training Program (HDPTP), and the Environmental Career Worker Training Program (ECWTP). Courses address hazards to workers in hazardous waste cleanup and hazardous materials treatment, storage, transport, and disposal operations; strengthen emergency response, disaster prevention, preparedness, and response and recovery activities; and provide job readiness and life skills to underserved populations. HWWTP activities will reach 11,115 hazardous materials and waste workers and supervisors throughout the region and strengthen emergency response capacity on the U.S.-Mexico border, among tribal groups, and in the Pacific Islands. A climate change initiative incorporates technology to reach day laborers and the large Spanish-speaking outdoor workforce. HDPTP activities will reach 3,575 workers and community members through partnerships with tribal groups in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest and with labor and community environmental justice groups in California, home to the nation's largest ports complex and high concentrations of refineries and chemical facilities. ECWTP activities in Los Angeles, California; Seattle, Washington; and Portland, Oregon, will train and place 605 workers in construction and environmental jobs.


The overall goal of the WRUC’s HDPTP is to augment hazard prevention and preparedness efforts among three strategic groups:

  1. Longshore workers and foremen employed at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach
  2. Communities adjacent to refineries, ports, and chemical facilities in Northern and Southern California
  3. Tribal groups in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska

This goal will be accomplished by UCLA-LOSH, UCB-LOHP, and UW through collaboration with worker, community, state, and local responder groups in each targeted area. The WRUC will also participate in the NIEHS Worker Training Program Emergency Support Activation Plan and will create a module on specific hazards of potential refinery/chemical facility disasters for adaptation into training for Community Emergency Response Teams. These efforts will build and strengthen emergency response capacity and institutionalize disaster preparedness efforts with these target groups in the region and contribute to national disaster response initiatives.


The overall goal of the WRUC’s ECWTP is to train individuals for jobs in the construction, environmental remediation, energy efficiency, and hazardous waste fields, with a focus on recruiting from underserved urban communities disproportionately affected by environmental exposures. This goal will be accomplished through comprehensive training and wraparound services that reinforce worker health and safety and job readiness, civic engagement, and leadership to support both environmental and economic sustainability. The WRUC will recruit and train 605 individuals in Los Angeles, Alaska, and Portland, Oregon, over the five-year grant period and provide support to trainees through a program of consistent mentoring, from initial recruitment to job placement and retention. Our partners include, in Los Angeles Women in Non Traditional Employment Roles (WINTER) and the Los Angles Black Worker Centers' Ready to Work, in Alaska, Zender Environmental’s Rural Alaska Community Environmental Job Training (RACEJT) program, and in Portland, Oregon, Constructing Hope. Strategic partnerships in each city support WRUC members’ ability to conduct outreach and recruitment, training, job placement, and tracking. The program capitalizes on changing labor market demands and on green job career pipelines in each target city.

Project Duration

  • August 1, 2020 - May 31, 2025 (HWWTP, ECWTP, HDPTP)

Grant Numbers

  • U45 ES006173 (HWWTP, ECWTP, HDPTP)

Other Participating Organizations