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. 

Current Projects


NJ COVID-19 Awareness and Prevention Program

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, OTEC has partnered with Rutgers Teaching and Learning with Technology (TLT) and the Protect NJ Workers Coalition to create the NJ COVID-19 Awareness and Prevention Program. The program includes English and Spanish asynchronous and live two-hour versions of the training. Since November of 2020, the project has reached thousands of NJ workers and residents, many of them from high-risk, hard to reach low-income communities of color.


Frontline healthcare 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:

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