IR #2006-07
February 15, 2006

Dean Fryer
Renée Bacchini
(415) 703-5050

Young Workers to participate in Leadership Academy

Los Angeles – Youth groups from your area were selected to participate in the Young Worker Leadership Academy held in Los Angeles, Feb.16-18. By the end of the three day workshop the teens will return to their community with a project they created to educate young workers, parents, employers and teachers about the health and safety and labor laws written for workers under the age of 18. Their project is just one of the events that comprise Safe Jobs for Youth Month every May.

According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), every two minutes a young worker is injured, "it is likely that approximately 250,000 youth sustains work-related injuries and illnesses each year". That is roughly one injury every two minutes. The academy is based on the premise that engaging youth will improve efforts to solve this problem. Young people bring ideas, insights and enthusiasm that might not otherwise be present. The academy will bring together seven teams of participants ages 14-17, plus an adult sponsor. The specific goals of the academy are to:

Participants will assemble late afternoon on Thursday, February 16th for introductions, briefings on young worker safety and a lively interactive "Hazard Mapping" activity. They will learn about the political process and other issues related to jobs and the economy. On day two, Friday, participants will study the recommendations of youth and adult experts before developing their own priority statement about the issue. They will conduct a mock planning activity and hear the advice from a panel of experienced youth and adult activists. Groups will also go "on-location" to observe young workers in different working environments, learn about common job hazards and to interview professionals with different perspectives on the issue. On Saturday morning, to conclude the event, they will meet with their local team members to select a project and outline plans for their follow-up activity during Safe Jobs for Youth Month.

The California Partnership for Young Worker Health and Safety brings together key representatives from government agencies, such as the Department of Industrial Relations', and other statewide organizations that are involved with California youth employment and education issues or that can otherwise play a role in educating and protecting young workers. The Young Worker Leadership Academy has been jointly developed by the University of California at Berkeley's Labor Occupational Health Program (LOHP) and the University of California at Los Angeles' Labor Occupational Safety and Health (LOSH) Program, in consultation with the California Center for Civic Participation, a national leader in the area of youth development and youth governance. The Academy is sponsored by the Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation and funded in part by a grant from The California Wellness Foundation.