ing youngsters with organizations that have narrower responsibilities is another.

  • Community-based approaches, involving partnerships among young workers, their parents, their employers, their schools, health care providers, community organizations, and others, have the potential to provide comprehensive and coordinated services and to identify young people's employment as an issue in which the entire community has a stake. NIOSH is currently funding three such demonstration projects. An evaluation of the effectiveness of these projects should improve our understanding about how best to focus a community's attention on the health and safety needs of young workers.

NIOSH or an agency of the Department of Labor would be a logical lead agency to coordinate educational and training activities and demonstration programs. If provided adequate resources, such a lead agency would be able to collaborate with other agencies in an initiative to assemble the required blend of expertise in both content about child labor health and safety issues, in effective presentation and dissemination of information, and in training. Agencies collaborating with NIOSH and the Department of Labor should include, at a minimum, the Department of Education, the National School-to-Work Office, the Bureau of Maternal and Child Health of the Department of Health and Human Services, and the CDC's Center for Injury Prevention and Control. These federal agencies should provide information, materials, and technical assistance to state and local agencies, including state departments of education and labor and local school systems.

Recommendation: A national initiative should be undertaken to develop and provide information and training to reduce the risks and enhance the benefits associated with youth employment. Adequate resources should be allocated to an agency to lead this effort.

Occupational Health and Safety in School-to-Work Programs

The purpose of the School-to-Work Opportunities Act of 1994 was to leverage other resources to foster partnerships, at the state and local levels, that would build systems to support the transition

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