NLCCC, led by our Health and Wellness Subcommittee, will be partnering with the Center for Healthy Work at the UIC School of Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences to engage residents of North Lawndale in a 5-year participatory research study through the Center of Excellence for Total Worker Health funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The Center for Healthy Work will focus on the rapidly-growing number of vulnerable workers experiencing significant occupational health disparities in precarious jobs that impact health at and away from work. Precarious work is unstable and uncertain, with irregular, unpredictable schedules, a high risk of unemployment, few economic and social benefits (e.g. a living wage and health or retirement benefits), few protections from labor laws and right, no collective voice in the marketplace a enjoyed by unionized workers, no opportunity or expectation for ongoing employment or advancement to a better job, and low or no compensation for injuries and illnesses. The study will take place in North Lawndale and Little Village. NLCCC will be the lead North Lawndale partner, while Enlace is the lead partner in Little Village.
Community stakeholders will be trained in research methods and will identify and prioritize health issues and develop community-based interventions.
We are still in the process of fleshing out the details, and will keep you posted of our progress, and let you know how you may get involved. There may be potential overlap with other subcommittees on this project. The subcommittees that immediately come to mind include Workforce Development, Economic Development, Education and Youth Development and Capacity Building. There may also be opportunities to leverage the Quality of Life Planning and CMAP comprehensive planning process, depending on the finalized scopes of each process. We thank Debra Wesley and Tameeka Christian for their leadership in this process. We thank the UIC School of Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences for this wonderful opportunity.