NIOSH and America Achieves Build A Safety Training Curriculum for Future Workers

NIOSH and America Achieves Build A Safety Training Curriculum for Future Workers

A recent collaboration between NIOSH and the not-for-profit America Achieves released Quest for Success – a free curriculum for educators, schools, and students to learn about future workforce safety and health.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has partnered with America Achieves—a nonprofit that focuses on education-to-workforce issues—to promote young worker safety and health. The collaboration means that a new educational forum called Quest for Success will provide information, materials, and training for young individuals coming into the workforce to prepare for jobs of the future. 

The job market is changing as we speak: not only are there new jobs requiring new skills, but a high level of technology and globalization means many of these jobs require cross-sector competencies like communication, collaboration, and critical thinking. As America Achieves’ homepage states, a projected 65 percent of jobs by 2020 will require education and training beyond traditional high school; in 1973, it was just over 25 percent. 

The Quest for Success curriculum is designed to help students explore a variety of industry sectors and new and in-demand careers while helping them develop cross-sector knowledge, skills, and character. The curriculum aims to help students learn about themselves and their skills and also be proactive in navigating their high school and postsecondary education in order to achieve career and life choices. With an estimated 6 million unfilled jobs in the U.S., skilled and competent workers are undoubtedly needed. 

In addition to general workforce preparedness, the Quest for Success platform wants to keep future workers safe and healthy in their workplaces, and this includes safety related to everything from training to overall wellbeing. 

NIOSH director John Howard, M.D. said “Ensuring that future jobs are also safe and healthy jobs is critical to ensuring the health and wellbeing of the workforce. NIOSH is pleased to partner with America Achieves to work together to prepare future generations of workers with the knowledge and skills they need to stay safe at work through an innovative career readiness resource.”

Quest for Success’ safety and health materials are designed to help students develop: 1) concepts of prevention of workplace injuries and illnesses and categories of workplace hazards and 2) thinking skills to identify control strategies for common workplace safety and health hazards. The materials were adapted from Youth@Work-Talking Safety, a free, foundational curriculum in workplace safety and health from NIOSH and its partners. 

The collaboration’s educational forum has already helped many individuals, namely in Louisiana. America Achieves originally created Quest for Success in collaboration with educators through a partnership with the Louisiana Department of Education. It was developed further with input from employers, industry partners, and experts, including the National Civil Rights Museum and NIOSH. Quest for Success was piloted in 2018 in over 50 Louisiana classrooms with more than 2,400 students. 

It has been subsequently revised and adapted for national dissemination and implementation. Read the NIOSH news release on the topic for more information.

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