WASHINGTON, D.C. – FMCS Director Allison Beck today announced the award of three grants to assist community, sectoral and industry labor-management partnerships address 21st century workplace challenges in hiring and retaining the next generation of workers, enhancing workers’ skills and safety, and adapting to the needs of businesses and workers in the transitioning economy.
“I am happy to announce the successful completion of our FY 2016 FMCS grants award cycle, which has yielded three impressive grant recipients, selected from a highly competitive field of applicants,” Ms. Beck stated. The three labor-management grants total $514,486 in available funds out of nearly $3 million in proposals submitted.
This year’s grantees are:
• Finishing Trades Institute of the Mid-Atlantic Region (FTI MAR), Philadelphia, PA ($250,000)
The highly regarded FTI MAR labor-management partnership will receive funding for a new initiative designed to attract, hire, and retain the next generation of workers in the construction industry, where there is a significant shortage of highly skilled workers. Uniquely, this program will develop both hard and soft skills among high school graduates and provide important opportunities for continuing education in post-secondary degree programs at institutions of higher learning. Partnering with two colleges on programming and curriculum development, FTI MAR will guide newly hired workers in the construction industry finishing trades from high school to a bachelor’s and master’s degree, providing program participants with advanced opportunities in construction management, architecture, and organizational design.
• SEIU Healthcare NW – Health Benefits Trust, Seattle, WA ($150,827)
Due to well-documented demographic changes in the U.S., there is a dramatically increasing need for skilled Home Care Workers (HCWs) to care for the elderly and disabled in their homes. Providing care in the home not only saves on hospital and nursing home costs, but also improves the quality of life of this growing population. One issue that has not been addressed in the context of this widely expanding sector of the economy, however, is the increased risk of on-the-job injuries to individual HCWs. Unlike workers in other industries, such as manufacturing, construction, or facility-based health care delivery, Home Care Workers lack access to standard safety equipment. To the extent such equipment is available, it currently depends entirely on the elderly or disabled client to drive the requisition process and HCWs are therefore at increased risk for on-the-job injury. FMCS seed money will permit the creation of a Labor-Management Committee to evaluate the potential of worker-carried mobile assistive devices in a “safety toolkit” that can easily be carried into clients’ homes by the HCW. The project will produce much-needed evidence about the injury reduction potential of the portable toolkit and serve as foundation for developing best practices in HCW safety. Results will be shared with key stakeholders in Washington State’s home care system as well as with a national audience to help build awareness, develop best practices, and prevent on-the-job injuries in home care.
• Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, Piscataway, NJ ($113,659)
The New Jersey K-12 Public School Labor-Management Committee (the “Committee” or “LMC”) will receive a grant to advance student performance, teacher retention, and overall educational quality. Evidence has shown that a collaborative, partnership approach is a cornerstone of excellence in teaching and learning. FMCS seed money will allow the Committee to broaden and deepen its reach by regularly convening an innovative Inter-District Learning Network to facilitate the exchange of ideas, experiences, and best practices for improving educational outcomes. In addition, the establishment of a website and annual state-wide information and learning exchange will further support this network of districts, administrators, and educators. The Committee, aided by researchers from Rutgers University, will evaluate and deliver a report on the impact of increased labor-management collaboration on student performance, teacher retention, and overall educational quality at the district and local school level.
The FMCS grants program, which began in 1981 under the authority of the Labor-Management Cooperation Act of 1978 (PL 95-524), has funded projects designed to improve communications, strategic planning, recruitment, industry changes, and economic development by encouraging cooperative efforts among labor, management, and communities to jointly address issues such as health, safety, employee training, and the resolution of workplace disputes.
For a PDF version of the FMCS announcement, click here.