On April 28 – Workers Memorial Day – we pause to remember those workers who have been killed, injured, or made sick at work. For NLC graduate Brian Wood, every day is Workers Memorial Day. Brian works as an advocate for worker safety and health in his position as Labor Liaison at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Region VII, where he also serves as American Federation of Government Employees’ Local 1748 union steward.
Brian’s passion for workplace safety grew out of his job as a journeyman wireman and the work he did while serving on the Safety Committee of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers’ Local 725 for three years. That work prompted him to finish his degree at National Labor College because he decided a career in worker safety and health was something he wanted to pursue full time.
Brian chose NLC because – first and foremost – it is a union college. For someone working long weeks and long hours, the convenience of taking courses online was also important, as was the fact that the tuition was affordable. With the support of his union and family, Brian finished his classes and graduated in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Labor Safety and Health.
I do not believe I would be where I am today if it were not for National Labor College.
Now Brian works with organized and unorganized workers in committees on occupational safety and health, worker centers, and coalitions. He helps them navigate OSHA’s organizational structure and procedures and assists them in developing and updating safety and health programs. “I truly enjoy my job with OSHA, as it is very rewarding to be an advocate for worker safety and health. I hope that I am able to make a difference for all workers in sustaining a safe and healthful workplace. I do not believe I would be where I am today if it were not for National Labor College.”