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.


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


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