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MDC’s North Campus Gets Boost to Extend Occupational Safety and Health Training Education for Spanish and Creole Speakers

Students at round table

Miami, September 16, 2010 - The Department of Labor has provided Miami Dade College (MDC) an important grant aimed at expanding MDC’s capacity to provide occupational safety and health training, education, and related technical assistance to Spanish and Haitian-Creole speaking workers and their employees in small businesses in construction and general industry. More specifically, Susan Harwood Training Grant Pilot Program will provide introductory occupational health and safety training for high-risk workers with limited English proficiency working in small businesses in South Florida.

“We are very pleased with this grant award which speaks directly to the mission of Miami Dade College to provide access and training to the underserved,” said Dr. José A. Vicente, president of MDC’s North Campus and West. “Everyone in the community benefits when our most challenged populations and small businesses have a pathway to success.”

This initiative complements MDC’s myriad of renowned workforce education and training programs, leverages its many established partnerships with regional businesses and industries, and builds on its long experience in adult education in this multicultural region. The pilot project consists of four major activities: (1) training needs assessment, (2) outreach to workers, employers, and business and community organizations, (3) training materials development and delivery, and (4) employer technical assistance.

Based on an comprehensive training needs assessment of the targeted employers and workers and community stakeholders, MDC will develop training materials targeting construction industry and general industry in English, Haitian-Creole, and Spanish for two workshops: (1) “Workers’ Rights and Responsibilities,” to be delivered at the MDC Health and Safety Fair in Haitian-Creole and Spanish, and (2) “Introduction to Health and Safety for Construction and General Industry,” to be delivered at accessible sites and convenient times in Haitian-Creole and Spanish. MDC will review and adapt existing training materials to create materials for these two new workshops, and translate them into Spanish and Haitian-Creole. No occupational safety and health training materials currently exist in Haitian-Creole, and the limited existing Spanish materials are not available in the topic areas. Project staff will also prepare and deliver Constitution Day sessions on worker’s rights and responsibilities in English, Spanish, and Haitian-Creole.

Based on the findings of a rigorous pilot project evaluation and guided by the experienced project Advisory Committee and MDC administrators, the college will continue to build its long-term capacity to deliver occupational safety and health training after the pilot project period which runs from Sept. 30, 2010 to Sept. 29, 2011. The grant is in the amount of $100,000.


Media-only contacts:
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611,, MDC communications director
Tere Estorino, 305-237-3949,, MDC media relations director
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710,, media specialist
Tarnell Carroll, 305-237-3359,, media specialist
Alejandro Rios, 305-237-7482,

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