Supporting Underserved Workers through Collaborative Research

The purpose of the Work Equity Research Center (WERC) is to work with communities to co-create research projects and develop solutions to improve work-related outcomes for historically and currently underserved workers. We do this by bringing together stakeholders to focus attention and invest resources on the work-related concerns, needs, barriers, and solutions for communities that are currently underserved.

At WERC, we:

  • Center the needs and voices of workers who have been and continue to be marginalized in occupational safety and health research, job related inequities, return to work barriers, interventions, and outcomes.
  • Support the right to safe and respectful workplaces.
  • Collaborate internally to ensure equity in all agency policies, procedures, and expectations.

WERC will rely on our strengths in:

  • Data collection, analyses, and interpretation.
  • Field studies.
  • Training and evaluation.
  • Developing novel research methods.

The primary strategies we will use are:

  • Participatory Action Research.
  • Translational Research.
  • Epidemiologic research methods.
  • Continuous effort and opportunities for introspection, cultural humility, and growth.

Year 1 and 2 Goals:

Goal 1. Enhance and increase our research and practice community.

1.1  Improve our outreach to internal and external stakeholders, and develop mechanisms to sustain partnerships.

1.2  Enhance our research capabilities for co-creating research and evaluation projects.

Goal 2. Develop, test, routinize, and evaluate data driven indices that will systematically identify areas for improvement.

2.1  Map the landscape of workers in Washington State. Who they are, where they work, what barriers and strengths we can leverage together to improve work and health conditions.

2.2  Develop an approach to identify and prioritize areas that may benefit most from our work.

2.3  Compile information that will improve our ability to identify new and emerging risks, and to aid in the development of solutions.

Goal 3. With our partners and expanded research community, develop a strategic plan and mechanisms for continuous evaluation and improvement.

If you would like more information or have any questions or comments, please reach out to us via email at