NIOSH renews ORAU contract for sick worker program

Andy Page

Andy Page

Contract could be worth about $150 million over five years

For the second time in about five years, a federal health and safety institute has renewed its contract with Oak Ridge Associated Universities for the support it provides on a sick worker program. The new contract could be worth about $150 million during a five-year period.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health awarded the contract to a team headed by ORAU in Oak Ridge. Under the new contract, ORAU and its partners Dade Moeller and Associates Inc. and MJW Technical Services Inc. will continue to support NIOSH and its work under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act, or EEOICPA, a press release said.

Last renewed in 2009, this contract has been managed by ORAU for more than a decade, and this is the second time NIOSH has renewed with ORAU and its partners, the release said. [Read more...]

Learn more about Roane State’s AMTEC job training program

Anyone interested in Roane State Community College’s Advanced Materials Training and Education Center, or AMTEC—a no-cost, high-tech job training program for those who are unemployed or underemployed—is invited to upcoming meetings at the college’s Clinton location and at the Oak Ridge campus.

The meeting at the Clinton Higher Education and Workforce Training Facility, 214 Nave St, will be held Monday, Dec. 2 at 6 p.m. The meeting at the Oak Ridge campus, 701 Briarcliff Ave., will be held Tuesday, Dec. 10, at 6 p.m. in the back room inside Anderson’s Grille.

Please call (865) 481-5436 to reserve your seat. [Read more...]

Learn more about Roane State’s AMTEC job training program Dec. 2, Dec. 10

Anyone interested in Roane State Community College’s Advanced Materials Training and Education Center, or AMTEC—a no-cost, high-tech job training program for those who are unemployed or underemployed—is invited to upcoming meetings at the college’s Clinton location and at the Oak Ridge campus.

The meeting at the Clinton Higher Education and Workforce Training Facility, 214 Nave St, will be held Monday, Dec. 2 at 6 p.m. The meeting at the Oak Ridge campus, 701 Briarcliff Ave., will be held Tuesday, Dec. 10, at 6 p.m. in the back room inside Anderson’s Grille.

Please call (865) 481-5436 to reserve your seat. [Read more...]

Letter: Residents urge legislators to raise minimum wage

To the Editor:

Two bills in Congress to raise the minimum wage by about 95 cents per year for the next three years are HR1010 and S460. We, the undersigned, urge readers to contact their congressmen and senators to urge passage of these bills.

The minimum wage is now $7.25. If these bills pass, then over the next three years, the minimum wage would increase to $10.10.

Currently, if a worker is able to get 2,000 hours of work per year (in 50 40-hour weeks)—and unfortunately, not all can—he or she earns a yearly gross wage of $14,500, which is below the U.S. Department of Labor threshold of $1,245 per month ($14,940 annually) for receiving food stamps. If this worker’s wages increased by 95 cents an hour, he or she would earn $16,400 and thus would be raised above the poverty guideline. [Read more...]

Labor Department recovers nearly $144,000 in back wages, penalties from Sitel in Oak Ridge

The U.S. Labor Department has recovered nearly $144,000 in back wages and penalties from Sitel Operating Corp. in Oak Ridge, federal officials said Thursday.

Sitel has agreed to pay 486 employees $68,901 in back wages after an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime and record-keeping provisions at the company’s facility in Oak Ridge, a press release said. Sitel also paid civil money penalties of $74,900, which were assessed for repeat violations of the FLSA, the release said.

It said investigators from the division’s Nashville District Office found that employees who worked on one client account, United Services Automobile Association, were not paid for time spent conducting required preparatory work before their shifts started. [Read more...]

Learn more about Roane State’s AMTEC job training program Oct. 7, 14

Anyone interested in Roane State Community College’s Advanced Materials Training and Education Center—a no-cost, high-tech job training program for those who are unemployed or underemployed—is invited to upcoming meetings at the college’s Clinton Higher Education and Workforce Training Facility and at the Oak Ridge campus.

The meeting at the Clinton Higher Education and Workforce Training Facility at 214 Nave St. will be held Monday, Oct. 7 at 6 p.m.

The meeting at the Oak Ridge campus at 701 Briarcliff Ave will be held Monday, Oct. 14 at 6 p.m. in the Nook (back room inside Anderson’s Grille). [Read more...]

Pellissippi State receives $4.6 million federal grant

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez on Wednesday announced $474.5 million in grants to community colleges and universities around the country, including Pellissippi State Community College, for the development and expansion of innovative training programs in partnership with local employers, a press release said.

The 57 grants will support 190 projects in at least 183 schools in every state plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Pellissippi State’s grant is valued at about $4.6 million. Located near Oak Ridge in west Knox County, the community college is the leader of a consortium that received a total of roughly $12.7 million. [Read more...]

Roane State’s Gatton eager to show new side of manufacturing

Bob Gatton of Roane State's National STEM Consortium

Roane State’s Bob Gatton explains a composite materials demonstration during an open house showcasing the college’s advanced manufacturing programs. (Submitted photo)

Bob Gatton wants to spread a simple but powerful message.

Manufacturing is not what it used to be.

“When you start talking about factories, people have this mental picture of being covered in soot,” Gatton said. “That’s just not true anymore. Most factories are clean and automated.”

As director of Roane State Community College’s National STEM Consortium Program, Gatton is in a position to train people for today’s high-tech manufacturing jobs. The college has developed two one-year certificate programs—mechatronics and composite materials—with funding from a $19.7 million grant awarded to the National STEM Consortium. [Read more...]

Department of Labor has meetings Wednesday for nuclear weapons workers

The U.S. Department of Labor will host three town hall meetings on Wednesday in Oak Ridge to provide information about the medical benefits provided under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act.

The EEOICPA provides compensation and medical benefits to employees who became ill as a result of working in the nuclear weapons industry. At the meetings, specific information will be discussed concerning home health care services, the Privacy Act, and how to better serve EEOICPA claimants.

The meetings are scheduled for 9:30 a.m., 4 p.m., and 6 p.m. Wednesday.

[Read more...]

Meeting location changed for Roane State mechatronics program on Thursday

Roane State Community College will host information meetings about its new mechatronics certificate program on Thursday in the Club Room at the Clinton Community Center.

The information sessions will be held at 10 a.m., 2 p.m., and 6 p.m. Interested students only need to attend one of the sessions.

The meetings had been planned for the Clinton Higher Education and Workforce Training Facility, but they had to be moved because of ongoing construction at the facility.

[Read more...]

Roane State hosts information meetings for new mechatronics program

Factory Manufacturing

Technicians trained in mechatronics work with high-tech robotic equipment. (Photo courtesy of Anne Arundel Community College)

Roane State Community College is hosting information meetings about a new certificate program that will train students to become technicians who operate, maintain, and repair high-tech automated manufacturing systems.

Anyone interested in the one-year mechatronics program is invited to attend information meetings on Thursday, Jan. 3, at the college’s Oak Ridge campus; Tuesday, Jan. 8, at the college’s Loudon County campus in Lenoir City; or on Thursday, Jan. 10, at the Clinton Higher Education and Workforce Training Facility.

The information sessions will be held at 10 a.m., 2 p.m., and 6 p.m. each day. Interested students only need to attend one of the sessions.

The program begins Tuesday, Jan. 22, at the Clinton Higher Education and Workforce Training Facility.

[Read more...]

Consortium led by Roane State receives $12.6 million federal grant

A consortium led by Roane State Community College received a $12.6 million federal grant to offer more training for health care careers and help students finish their degrees, the U.S. Department of Labor announced Wednesday.

The announcement included $500 million in grants for community colleges and universities across the country. The Roane State consortium was one of 27 funded nationwide, Roane State President Gary Goff said in a press release.

[Read more...]