The Central Appalachian Regional Education and Research Center (CARERC) was established on July 1, 2012, under CDC/NIOSH Cooperative Agreement 1T42 OH010278-01. CARERC is the newest of only 18 such university-based occupational safety and health training programs in the United States. NIOSH education and research centers.

  • Conduct interdisciplinary research & education in worker safety and health;

  • Provide graduate-level academic programs and continuing education (CE) in occupational safety, occupational epidemiology, occupational and environmental health, occupational health nursing, occupational medicine, and other key disciplines;

  • Develop control technologies, workplace interventions and other solutions designed to protect workers and prevent injury-related costs to businesses, communities, and families.

Whereas U.S. employers expect to hire an average of 5,000 occupational safety and health professionals per year, only 2,835 such professionals graduated in 2011. Many experienced personnel are approaching retirement age. Thus, demand for professional occupational safety and health services remains high.

These services are critically needed in the 177 counties covered by CARERC in eastern Kentucky, western North Carolina, east Tennessee, southwestern Virginia, and West Virginia. Each of the Central Appalachian states included in our scope (KY, NC, TN, VA, and WV) reports high proportions of fatal occupational injuries related to transportation/highway incidents; injuries in agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting; and mining – all regionally important industries (BLS-CFOI 2009, 2011).

CARERC works to train professionals who are well equipped to identify and address workplace safety and health hazards, thereby preventing injuries and their associated costs. We serve as a resource for industry, labor, government agencies, and other stakeholders while, at the same time, preparing men and women for rewarding careers in research, education, service, and policy development.

CARERC courses are offered on the campuses of both the University of Kentucky and Eastern Kentucky University (EKU). Students at UK and EKU may enroll through their respective institutions. Full-time trainees are eligible for tuition, stipends, and support for research-related travel and professional and scientific conferences. Part-time students can receive tuition and research-travel support.

CARERC collaborates with other regional institutions for its Pilot Research Program (PRP) and Continuing Education (CE) activities, which are described elsewhere on these pages. We appreciate your interest in CARERC and encourage you to contact us for more information.