Occupational Training and Education Consortium

Since 2001, the Occupational Training and Education Consortium has led a range of workforce development projects supported through federal, state, and foundation sources. With a focus on work environment issues including occupational and environmental health and safety, OTEC develops grant-funded partnerships with employers, unions, and community-based groups. OTEC projects seek to increase the communication and problem-solving skills of individuals and the effectiveness of their organizations. 

Michele Ochsner, PhD and Carmen Martino, MA, co-direct OTEC.

Current projects are focused on:

Healthcare:

  • Frontline health care workers and their organizations

Training:

  • Immigrant and low-wage workers in construction, warehousing, and light manufacturing

Approaches adapted to a range of OTEC projects include:

  1. “Action oriented” research and training projects that involve stakeholders in project design and implementation
  2. Analytic frameworks grounded in high performance work systems
  3. Development of customized curricula that reflect up-to-date technical information and evidence-based work practices
  4. Learner-centered, participatory training classes that open up communication channels and encourage team-based problem solving
  5. Technical assistance to organizations implementing communication and decision-making structures that support worker participation and engagement
  6. Train-the-trainer programs that prepare frontline workers to facilitate training activities
  7. Quantitative and qualitative needs assessment and evaluation

Our current collaborators and project partners include:

  • Center for Construction Research and Training - CPWR
  • University of Illinois Chicago School of Public Health
  • University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey School of Public Health
  • New Labor
  • LIUNA - NJ Local 55
  • Elizabeth Learner Center
  • New Jersey Work Environment Council’s Safe Work/Safe Care Project
  • Center for Healthy Aging at Parker Stonegate
  • Stonebridge at Montgomery
  • Genesis Park Place
  • Reformed Church Home
  • Bridgeway Care Center
  • Parker Homes
  • Consumer Coalition for Assisted Living
  • Center for Excellence in Assisted Living
  • Faculty in the Department of Labor Studies and Employee Relations