Real People, Real Impact: Spotlight Stories from our Grantees

The Department of Labor awards millions of dollars in competitive grants to hundreds of partner organizations and participating entities. These programs reach communities from all across the United States, as well as those in partner countries overseas, and have served thousands of individuals.

 

RecycleForce – Growth Opportunities Grant for Re-Entry Youth

Building a Stronger Workforce and a Cleaner Environment

RecycleForce is a U.S. Department of Labor grantee committed to reducing crime through employment and job training, while improving the environment through electronics recycling. After Secretary Marty Walsh's visit to RecycleForce in October 2022, we asked founder Gregg Keesling to share more about RecycleForce’s work and impact.

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Recycle Force
 

Wade Thompson – Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Program

Real Impact, Real People: Harbor Care

VETS' Homeless Veterans' Reintegration Program long-standing grantee, Harbor Care, is on a mission to end veteran housing insecurity in New Hampshire. We recently spoke with former client, Army veteran Wade Thompson, to see how his life changed through the support he received through Harbor Homes, which is part of Harbor Care.

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Marisol Santos
 

Marisol Santos - Women in Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Occupations

Launching an American Dream with an Apprenticeship

Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Marisol Santos crossed the sea in pursuit of her American dream. Today, a Women in Nontraditional Occupations grant from the Women’s Bureau helped her develop into a welder forging seafaring ships. The grant paved the way for Marisol’s apprenticeship which began with general training covering basic trade skills and then specialized based on available jobs and her personal interest.

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Marisol Santos
 

Brianna Crusoe - Women in Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Occupations

From an Apprenticeship to a Family-Supporting Job

Fourth-year electrician apprentice Brianna Crusoe raves about how a Department of Labor grant helped her develop a life-changing career in the trades. A Women in Nontraditional Occupations grant from the Women’s Bureau provided all-encompassing support through a stipend and training and child care services, which enabled her full participation in the program and empowered her to embark upon a new career.

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Brianna Crusoe
 

Yousef in Amman, Jordan - Project on Child Labor and Forced Labor

Enabling Education for Former International Child Laborers

The Bureau of International Labor Affairs helps implement the U.S. goal of bringing meaningful change to the lives of child laborers and children in forced labor around the word. In Jordan, teenager Yousef was caught in family strife and dropped out of school turning to child labor to help support his family. MAP project funding supported his escape from child labor, enabling him to finish his education and prepare to become a chef.

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Yousef
 

Blanca Vidal - OSHA Harwood Training

Fighting Theft and Defending Workers Rights

Longtime nail salon worker Blanca Vidal worked below the minimum wage for years. Then she joined the New York Nail Salon Workers' Association to help educate about workplace rights and protect workers from wage theft. Today she is a trainer with the school, which is funded in part by a Susan Harwood training grant.

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Blanca Vidal
 

Hang Nguyen - OSHA Harwood Training

Protecting Nail Salon Workers

Hang Nguyen, executive director of Boat People SOS Center for Community Advancement, used a Harwood Training grant to reach Vietnamese nail salon workers in California. The grant helped BPSOS-CCA better address challenging factors in this community including individuals with health problems, language barriers, and limited health care access.

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Hang Nguyen
 

Anna Carlson and Marnee McCormick - MSHA Brookwood-Sago

Saving Lives with Better Training

In a mine, there's no substitute for safety training simulations. MSHA-certified health and safety trainers Anna Carlson and Marnee McCormick have long wanted a mobile training trailer, but lacked the funds. Now our $50,000 grant is making that trailer a reality, making it possible to simulate potentially life-threatening scenarios. "You can only talk about a topic so much before everyone thinks they know everything," Carlson said. "You need to find a different way to approach the subject matter and teach it, which is what we are trying to do."

Anna Carlson and Marnee McCormick
 

Tim Moore - ODEP RETAIN

Getting Injured Workers Back On the Job

Truck driver Tim Moore severely injured his back during a delivery when a dolly hauling a 250-pound load dragged him. Necessary surgery made professional driving impossible. However, thanks to the Retaining Employment and Talent After Injury/Illness Network (RETAIN) program, he got through a difficult recovery and today is successfully working in a new role as a certified medical biller and coding professional. Funded in part by one of our grants, the Ohio RETAIN team contacted Moore soon after he was hospitalized and stayed in regular touch until he was back on his feet.

Tim Moore
 

William Bieber and Elizabeth Hardie - MSHA Alaska State Grant

Protecting Alaska's Miners

With a $142,249 state grant from our Mine Safety and Health Administration, Alaska's Mining and Petroleum Training Services teaches about 800-900 people every year. When COVID-19 forced them to move their training online, they discovered an unexpected benefit: They could offer training every week, unlike their face-to-face trainings, which were reliant on cooperative weather. "Not one of our students who attended this class was seriously injured in a mine," said executive director William Bieber. "That's a great record and something we're very proud of."

William Bieber and Elizabeth Hardie
 

Joshua Brady - MSHA Brookwood-Sago

Practice Makes Perfect for Rescue Training

In a mine emergency, emotions and adrenaline can cloud a miner's judgement. The solution is training, according to Joshua Brady. With a $50,000 grant from our Mine Safety and Health Administration, Brady and his staff train about 400 miners a year, running emergency response drills for underground mines. "We want to do repetitions at a high enough skill level so it becomes second nature," Brady said.

Joshua Brady