The Virginia Department of Labor and Industry was invited to make a presentation June 29 at a "How to Start a Business” seminar sponsored by the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber extended the invitation to the Department's Cooperative Programs Director Jennifer Wester, requesting a speaker to present information about the Virginia Occupational Safety and Health (VOSH) Compliance Program. Jennifer coordinated with Central Region Director Tom Rozman to serve as the Department's representative.
The seminar was conducted at Sacred Heart Church hall off Perry Street in Richmond. The agenda included other City of Richmond, state, and federal agencies such as the Department of Labor, Internal Revenue Service, State Corporation Commission, Virginia Employment Commission, Virginia Department of Minority Business Enterprise and Small Business Administration as well as key private sector participants such as A. W. Smith Financial Group. Some 20 or more business and prospective business people were participating exclusive of presenters.
The Department's presentation was very well received, generating considerable interest to include a lively question and answer period following the presentation. The Department's Spanish language VOSH posters were a big hit. Noteworthy to this group was not only the keen interest in the inspection process and employer responsibilities regarding site occupational safety and health, but interest in the agency's website and voluntary programs, specifically the VOSH Training and Consultation Programs.
Interest was so keen in the VOSH Compliance and voluntary programs information that seminar coordinator Laura Sanchez del Solar expressed strong interest in engaging the Department for other similar activities. The seminar clearly was a value added opportunity for the Department to get its VOSH message out with continued productive possibilities down the road. The Department definitely took a step forward with the Hispanic community in moving toward safer and healthier work places in Virginia.