SafetyFest: extra effort to make a difference in Hispanic community


Last week’s SafetyFest TN was declared a success from many perspectives, including the sheer number of people who took part in the training classes, forum, exhibits and other activities at the New Hope Center at Y-12. But organizers of SafetyFest — now in its third year — seemed proudest of the outreach efforts, including a special push to get involved with small businesses and workers in the Hispanic community.  The numbers weren’t huge, but the night-time classes at the Centro Hispano de East Tennessee were appreciated and laid the groundwork for even greater participation in years to come. In the photo above, Dale Stewart of Consolidated Nuclear Security provides safety info on working with scaffolds. In the photo below, Leon Duquella of the Department of Energy serves as translator for the class. Jenny Freeman, a SafetyFest organizer said the outreach was important because the companies are small — doing construction or landscaping or other potentially dangerous work — and often can’t pay for employee training. James J. Rochelle, another SafetyFest organizer, was blown away by the response. After witnessing the first class, he wrote to others, “Four young men showed up after what was most likely a very physically demanding day to hear our two heroes of safety. And it didn’t take long for Dale and Leon to draw them out and get them engaged. These young men exhibited a willingness to learn and energetically expressed gratitude for the opportunity.” The next night’s class drew double the number of participants. (Photos by J.J. Rochelle)


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About Frank Munger

Senior Writer Frank Munger covers the Dept. of Energy's Oak Ridge facilities and many related topics — nuclear weapons, nuclear waste and other things nuclear, environmental cleanup and science of all sorts. Atomic City Underground is, first and foremost, a news blog, but there's room for analysis, opinion and random thoughts that have no place else to go.