The University of Florida’s Training, Research and Environmental Occupations Center (UF TREEO) has been awarded a $75,000 Training & Education Materials Development Grant from the US Department of Labor through the Susan Harwood Training Grant Program. The grant will be used to develop high-quality, compliant training materials for English and Spanish speaking workers and employers who enter confined spaces.
The UF TREEO Center’s goal is to meet the training demand by addressing the gaps in experience, skills, and language proficiency levels of the workforce. After reviewing reports from the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) and the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), UF TREEO found that many training materials in construction are not primed for Spanish-speaking workers or English-speaking workers with low-literacy rates. The funding from the Susan Harwood Grant will be a catalyst to develop quality training materials and job aids to ensure workers in these populations understand how to select, use, and maintain PPE for confined spaces.
“UF TREEO is honored to be selected to provide employers and workers with easily understood training materials that will help reduce preventable deaths and accidents in the workplace,” says Andrew Campbell, Director of the University of Florida’s Office of Professional and Workforce Development and UF TREEO.
Named after the late Susan Harwood, former director of OSHA’s Office of Risk Assessment, the grants are awarded to provide training and education programs for employers and workers on the recognition, avoidance, and prevention of safety and health hazards in their workplaces and to inform workers of their rights and employers of their responsibilities under the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act.
About UF TREEO
UF TREEO was created to provide continuing education for water and wastewater operators so they could operate their plants in compliance with federal and state regulations. The land UF TREEO sits on is located across from the Kanapaha Water Reclamation plant and was donated to the University of Florida by the City of Gainesville. UF TREEO expanded its course offerings as new environmental legislation was passed in the 1980s and 1990s to include Asbestos Abatement, Solid Waste, Health and Safety and Hazardous Materials. Over 5,000 students are trained annually in both classroom and online courses around the globe.