I began my career in workplace education when I joined the Cincinnati Interfaith Workers Center as volunteer board member. For 10 years I have been conducted community awareness trainings for low wage workers on areas such as occupational safety and health hazards, environmental hazard exposures, and options for opposing and preventing these potential harms. Through the Department of Labor’s Susan Harwood program I first became a community trainer.
My formal training and professional experience is in the law of labor and employment. I have advised unions, employers, and individuals on safety and health compliance and enforcement. I have successfully litigated an administrative complaint for safety and health violation under a state plan. I currently serve as the Chair of the External Review Board for the Education and Research Center for the Great Lakes OSHA program (NIOSH funded).
Since 2014 I have been serving as the Executive Director of the CIWC administering and providing managerial support for a team of 3 environmental and occupational safety & health trainers who train hundreds of low wage and English language learners each year. Creating access to life saving trainings, materials, and abilities is something that gives me great personal pride. As the E.D. of the CIWC I launched a new program “Safety Now For All” also referred to as Seguridad Para Todos Ahoa. This program now provides the only community based safety and environmental hazard trainings in this region offering courses in languages other than English. Also as part of this program, the CIWC launched a multi-lingual hotline where workers and community members can contact Environmental and Occupational Health experts anonymously to access specific information regarding potential hazards and exposures that could be harmful or even life threatening. This project will be hosted by the University of Cincinnati, and CIWC and its Safety Now program are its community leads.
In addition to training, my responsibilities include marketing, working with vendors, purchasing and employee management. Throughout my career in labor & employment law and non-profit administration, my focus has been to secure the common protections for all workers and community members, regardless of their age, disability status, race, gender, nationality, industry or language preference. It gives me great pleasure to identify and work to overcome the barriers to institutional resources that are available to help secure these common protections. The growth and development of the Safety Now For All program, including through the NIEHS program, is a source of great personal satisfaction.