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Region VI Participates in Unique Agreement to Reach Out to Asian Americans

An important part of workplace safety is to get the message out to the right people. OSHA's Region VI has taken a role in this effort by participating in an educational campaign on behalf of a growing Asian-American work force within the Houston area.

The Information Group for Asian American Rights (TIGAAR) Accord was signed in Houston, Texas on July 31, 2003 by OSHA and several other government agencies and organizations. The purpose of the Accord is to launch an educational program to inform Asian-American workers about their rights in the workplace and to promote voluntary compliance with employment laws by Asian American employers.

The TIGAAR program, developed by the Department of Labor and EEOC's Houston District Office, was created in response to the White House Initiative on Asian-Americans and Pacific Islands and the President's Management Agenda, which calls for more education measures for both employers and employees on how to comply with employment laws.

TIGAAR participants plan to sponsor four informational forums during the first year of the Accord. At these forums, they will distribute information on workers rights in the workplace and answer questions from the audience. Notices for each forum will be distributed at least 30 days in advance, and the forums will be advertised through both local and international media. In addition, the participants plan to meet occasionally to evaluate and review the progress of the campaign and to make any necessary changes to improve the program's efficiency.

As a signatory of the Accord, OSHA Region VI will be able to establish new relationships as well as build on current relationships within the Asian-American community. In addition, by providing training and outreach to immigrant workers, the Accord meets one of the goals set in the agency's 2003-2008 Strategic Management Plan.

Participants in the campaign include: the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the United States Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division and Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the City of Houston, TX, City Council Member Gordon Quan, and various Asian American organizations.

For more information, please contact Kelly Knighton, Compliance Assistance Specialist in OSHA's Area Office in Houston.

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