Lead abatement training for underserved populations: Lessons learned

David Sterling, Roger D. Lewis, Fernando Serrano, Kwesi Dugbatey, R. Gregory Evans, Linda S. Sterling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


An environmental-justice (equity) grant program was used to make accessible an existing lead-training programto minority persons and residents of low-income communities. The purpose of the program was to enhance the knowledge base within the communities concerning lead hazards and intervention strategies and expand possibilities for employment in the lead abatement industry. Barriers to attendance were anticipated and addressed, and included transportation, meals, license application fees, reminders of course date and location, and day care. The program was evaluated through measures of recruitment rates, pre and posttesting scores, and change in perception of confidence at pre-test, post-test, and at four-month follow-up. Fee-paying registrants over the same time period were used as a comparison group. First day attendance rates for individuals recruited into the equity-grant was 59 percent, of these 94 percent completed all days. Equity and fee-paying groups had similar scores on the pre-test (p = 209), while mean scores on the final exam differed significantly (p < .001) between the groups and were 77 percent and 85 percent, respectively. After adjusting for demographic and course type attended, perceptions of self-efficacy (benefit) and outcome effectiveness (confidence) increased significantly from preto post-tests for both groups and remained at post-course levels at four months follow-up. Lessons learned include: (1) Lead abatement and other related activities can be successfully taught through traditional training methods; (2) A necessary element for delivery of educational services to minority groups is forming workable ties with local community groups, but eligibility requirements must be maintained; (3) Once barriers to first-day attendance are overcome, the information necessary to perform specific work skills can be taught; (4) Positive changes in belief are not dependent on minority status, income, or education levels; (5) Training and education increased confidence in ability to perform learned skills, and belief that there will be a beneficial outcome when performed for themselves, their families, and communities; and, (6) A consensus regarding applicability of regulations must be achieved among federal, state, and local communities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-227
Number of pages11
JournalApplied Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2000


  • Environmental Justice
  • Lead
  • Outcome Effectiveness
  • Self-Efficacy
  • Training-Evaluation


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