The workforce and businesses of Central Pennsylvania will soon have extra help, thanks to two recent grants to Millersville University. The grants will be used for training employees in small businesses and high-risk industries.
The University will share in an $11.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Millersville’s portion is $79,874. It will be used to help small businesses train their employees in fall prevention and ergonomics.
Another grant is for $193,000, funded by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, and covers “Workplace Safety and Health Training on Infectious Diseases, including the coronavirus.” The targeted training specifically looks at how infectious diseases can affect the workplace, specifically healthcare facilities.
“Most small businesses in Lancaster and around the country have limited resources to get quality training materials,” says Dr. Jack Ogutu, who has led the University’s occupational safety and environmental health program since 2015.
“Through this grant, we hope to provide these audiences training opportunities and materials on infectious diseases, including COVID-19, and additional training on fall prevention and ergonomics at no cost.”
To help the community, the training provided by these grants will help businesses in the surrounding Lancaster area learn and practice workplace safety. Bringing in local business owners and employers will be a priority so Millersville University can provide aid to the community. The MU Director of Workforce Development, Hope Schmids, will serve as the liaison with the local business community.
“Our occupational safety and environmental health majors who are completing their internships will have the opportunity to participate in the training sessions as representatives of their environmental health & safety internship employers,” says Ogutu.
“Once our students graduate and are in full-time positions as environmental health and safety representatives and managers, they will have full and easy access to the training materials that are created through this grant,” he continues.
The OSEH program was founded in 1980 and focuses on preparing its students to enter the workforce and protect employees and the public from work-related injuries and illnesses, while also protecting company assets and interests. Through the efforts of the grant co-investigator, Dr. Betty-Jo Bowers, the program recently added construction safety into its curriculum.
Interested in the OSEH program at Millersville University? Learn more here.