Photo: Jason Fochtman, Houston Chronicle / Staff Photographer
With the help of a Community Assistance Block Grant administered by Montgomery County, Children’s Books on Wheels will be hosting free Occupational Safety and Health Administration 30-hour training this month for its third year in a row.
Rita Wiltz, Executive Director of CBOW, said the idea to apply for grant money and hold the training came to her out of the blue. The training at CBOW is called Project Re-Set and the grant is worth $25,000. The organization regularly responds to needs in the Tamina community, where it is located, outside of the scope of literacy and reading that CBOW is based on.
OSHA 30-hour training is a comprehensive training course specifically devised for “safety directors, foremen, and field supervisors; the program provides complete information on OSHA compliance issues,” according to the OSHA website.
The training will be held Sept. 21-24. There are enough seats for 15 to 20 people while also social distancing at the Sleepy Hollow Multipurpose Building in Tamina.
By the end of the training, the participants will have an OSHA certificate that applies to numerous fields, including construction, where OSHA requirements are a vital part of the job. The grant was awarded to CBOW to host the training in order to assist low-income youth in attaining good-paying jobs, according to Joanne Ducharme, Director of Community Development for Montgomery County.
“100 percent of Community Development’s focus is on assisting low-income persons in the county to gain or keep self sufficiency. This takes many forms, from education and job skills training programs to Meals on Wheels to help elderly remain independent in their own homes,” Ducharme said in an email to the Courier. “On the surface, it seems like we do a little bit of everything, but the common connection is that we serve like income persons and we find programs focused on helping people live independently. The need is great and varied.”
Community Development helps repair derelict housing, assists shelters and housing programs, provides emergency financial assistance, and funds victim assistance programs. Ducharme stresses that the programs provided are funded by federal taxpayer dollars from income tax, not local property taxes.
“They are an example of our residents’ taxes coming back home to help out local citizenry,” Ducharme said.
This will not be the first time that CBOW has hosted OSHA 30 training, and in past years Wiltz said the response from the community was extremely positive.
“A lot of people, their life is not around a four-year college degree, but they need to work, and they need to take care of their family,” Wiltz said.
The applications for this round of grant funding were released in January, before COVID-19, and due in March, so the pandemic did not have an effect on this round of funding.
According to the OSHA website, the training can cost around $189. Because of the grant, the training at CBOW is provided at no cost. Interested parties can contact Wiltz at 281-844-7596.