because the target group was "non-college" youth. Some school-to-work sites have also reported this result, along with higher grades and improved post-graduate employment. (For examples, see the National School-to-Work Office Web site: www.stw.ed.gov.)
The School-to-Work Opportunities Act, which is overseen jointly by the Departments of Education and Labor, pays only minimal attention to child labor laws and health and safety standards in the program's training components and in the requirements for states' programs. In the work-based experience, students are required to receive "broad instruction, to the extent practicable, in all aspects of the industry" (20 U.S.C. §6113 (a)(5)), including health and safety issues. However there are no specific requirements that such issues be included in the school-based portion. The act does not allow the waiver of any child labor laws for program participants.
In an effort to disseminate information about child labor and safety issues and to promote positive action on the part of young workers, NIOSH is funding three community health education demonstration projects with evaluation components. Projects target a variety of audiences, including parents, employers, educators, health-care providers, government officials, organizations that work with youngsters, and young people themselves. Surveys to collect baseline information about students' knowledge and attitudes have been administered in each of the three communities (Brockton, Massachusetts; Oakland, California; and south central Los Angeles, California). Focus groups with employers and parents have been conducted. Advisory committees, with representatives from each of the target populations, have been established in each community. The schools and organizations that work with youngsters are serving as bases for educating adolescents. In Brockton, occupational health and safety education has been integrated into the school-to-work system. The project has also trained teen peer educators to provide occupational health and safety workshops to youngsters outside of the school setting. In Oakland, occupational health and safety learning activities have been integrated into the curriculum in core academic subject areas. In addition, a school-based peer-education program has been established. In south central Los Angeles, a 3-week education