Annual Report of Activities
May 16, 2000 to May 15, 2001







Virginia Labor Studies Center

School of Business

Virginia Commonwealth University









VCU-School of Business

1015 Floyd Avenue, Suite 1113

Richmond, Virginia 23284-4000

(804) 828-7484 / 1-(800)-793-VLSC















            Goals and Results

            Marketing Activities

            Education Programs

            Research and Publications

            Grants and Special Projects











Kemper W. Baker, Jr.
Vice President

Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond
Calvin Jamison
City Manager

Richmond, Virginia
Edwin E. Blanks
Academic Administration

Virginia Commonwealth University
James R. Leaman

Jeffrey D. Brown

VA Dept. of Labor and Industry
Oscar Giles

BCTGM, local 203T
Phillip Morris USA
Linda Derr
Labor Relations Manager

Dupont Advanced Fibers Systems
Ed Price
Director  Labor Relations

Dominion Resources Services, Inc.
Michael R. Earman
Vice President

United Food Commercial Workers
Union Local 400
David L. Rineer
Director of Labor

Relations Newport News Shipbuilding


Dr. Robert R. Trumble, Director Tracy A. Jolley, Program Coordinator
John T. Hutton, Program Manager Angela DeLowell, Research Associate
Karen Hawkridge, Coordinator, VEES Flavia Cavazotte, Research Associate





     This past year the Center concentrated in the areas that have proven to be most successful or to have the most promise for significant advancements.  For instance, in education we have moved almost completely to tailor made programs for companies and organizations that request our services rather than preparing a generic program followed by a mass mailing.  The probability that the program will be geared to the audience, address relevant problems and solutions, and will have adequate attendance is much greater with this approach. An area that has promise for substantial opportunities is the submission of grant proposals.  Here we will need patience and fortitude.  We submitted three proposals last year.  One was declined, one will have a decision in the near future, and we have been asked to resubmit the third in the Fall.  The odds are low on any proposal but the possible support and advancement is significant.   We are learning and improving our proposal in each iteration.


Dr. Trumble

Dr. Robert Trumble, Director
Virginia Labor Studies Center

     Our studies and research continue to be noteworthy both in quantity and in quality.  In addition to the annual research projects, primarily with graduate students, the Center has purchased the National Longitudinal Survey data base which is funded by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, collected by the National Opinion Research Center and managed by The Ohio State University.  This data base will form the essence of our long term research because it is longitudinal, collected frequently, highly relevant to our mission, and of high quality.  It will permit us to shed light on some important research questions.

     In the coming year we have been asked to work closely with Dan River Inc., Local 400 of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, the National Electrical Contractors Association, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, and others.  It is our belief that our mission of improving labor/management relations can best be served if we work in close collaboration with others in the arenas of education, service, and research.  Efforts to pursue these means and goals will remain a high priority for the Center.  We also remain highly receptive to programs suggested by the community.

     Each year we receive the support and assistance of a number of people and organizations.  This year the labor and management organizations, Virginia Commonwealth University (especially the School of Business), the State of Virginia (especially the governor, the State Legislature, and the Department of Labor and Industry), and others have provided the aid that permits us to function effectively.  We are most grateful for this largesse and moral support. 





            This year represents our eight-year of operations, providing education, research and service activities in labor-management relations throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Our goals of maintaining high quality educational programs and research have remained consistent throughout our tenure.  An indication of quality programs is evident by organizations that invite us to provide additional programs and recommending our services to others.  It is also evident when academic and trade publications continually publish our papers.  This year was no exception.  

          The sections that follow describe the activities of the Center for the 2000-2001 fiscal year.  These activities were developed in response to discussions with members of our advisory board, human resources and labor relations representatives, and the Virginia Commonwealth University Administration.


Marketing Activities

            Our marketing activities continue to concentrate on attendance to state and national conferences, individual and group presentations.  Both John and Bob attended several conferences and conventions to publicize our activities and services.

            John attended the Virginia Society of Human Resource Management Conference, which featured discussions on employment law issues, OSHA updates, workplace diversity and privacy.  He networked with many human resources professionals to discuss recruiting and workforce development concerns.

            John also attended the 23rd Annual Conference on Management and Executive Development designed for management and executive development directors, program managers and key staff in four-year colleges and universities.  Topics in the concurrent sessions include:  Virtual Learning; Consultative Selling; and Establishing a Consortium Program.  John networked with representatives from all over the country to discuss best practices for successful education programs and developed ideas for handling common programming concerns.

            Bob attended the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the ESOP Association Conference.  This conference brought together individuals from ESOPs throughout Virginia to provide information on new legislation, valuation process, and effectively communicating the ESOP culture.  He provided a presentation on the self-assessment of corporate culture in areas such as work environment, demographics, and communications.

            John attended the Virginia State AFL-CIO Convention.  An information kiosk was established to provide information on the Center’s activities for state labor representatives to ask questions and comment on our activities.  State and local labor representatives completed an education survey to make suggestions for future programs.

John made a brief presentation on the Center’s activities at the Virginia Building and Construction Trades Council.  During the meeting, labor representatives discussed upcoming construction projects, a legislative update, and joint labor-management apprenticeship programs.

          John met with Dr. Stuart Werner, Associate Director of the Community, Corporate and Workforce Development Center at Northern Virginia Community College, Alexandria Campus.  They discussed offering the Center’s programs at their facilities.  They also discussed workforce issues in the northern Virginia area, the Wilson Bridge Project, the Virginia WorkKeys and apprenticeship programs.

            John attended an informational forum on the passage of a Living Wage Ordinance in the city of Richmond.  The Richmond Coalition for a Living Wage sponsored this forum.  Chauna Brocht, of the Economic Policies Institute, joined a panel discussion on the benefits of living wage policies and an update on their prevalence in the U.S.


Education Programs

      The Center facilitated several education programs during the 2000-2001 fiscal year.  Our programs consisted of both open enrollment and organization tailored programs.  The emphases on these sessions were occupational safety and health issues, labor history and resume writing.  

Our staff worked with various organizations throughout the year, including the Communications Workers of America Local 2260, International Paper, and the Virginia State AFL-CIO.  A summary of these programs is listed in Appendix A.             

Jan Thomas

Dr. Jan Thomas of Circle Safety and Health Consultants, discusses how to control  risks of Workplace Violence.

Research and Publications

     Our staff continues to conduct research that focus on significant issues which human resources and labor relations professionals encounter every day.  As in the past, many of our papers are published in leading professional trade and academic journals.  This year our research focused on the aging workforce, employee stock ownership plans and labor-management committees.

     Many of research papers were written through our ESOP Education Service.  David Knight, Karen Hawkridge and Bob Trumble authored several articles on the valuation of employee stock ownership plans.  Flavia Cavazotte and Bob Trumble investigated the aging workforce and ageism and other employment issues.  A detailed list of our research activities is located in Appendix B.


Grants and Special Projects
     Our staff continued to work on two major projects this past fiscal year.  We assisted with the coordination of the annual Virginia Occupational Safety and Health Conference.  John serves on the planning committee for this conference, which provides safety and health education for Virginia’s employers, employees, and safety and health professionals.  This year’s session topics included:  Health Care Issues, What to Expect from a VOSH/OSHA Inspection, Recordkeeping, Job Safety Analysis, and Electrical Safety. Ron Dick

Mr. Ron Dick leads a Voluntary Protection Program
at International Paper in Waverly, Virginia.

    This year was the final year supporting the Virginia Workers Compensation Program {WCP) and the Virginia Department of Human Resource Management.  Under this contract, our staff provided administrative support activities for the WCP safety and loss control programs and conferences.  The WCP provides non-credit education programs for state and local government agencies designed to assist them with their risk management activities.  This year, our staff coordinated forty education programs including three weeklong courses and one conference.  The WCP also provides for a four-course credit certificate program under the Virginia Risk Control Institute.  The institute is a cooperative agreement between the Virginia Department of Treasury, Division of Risk Management, the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Program and Virginia Commonwealth University.  Our staff also coordinated seven credit courses over four academic semesters.

        The Center works with many organizations and associations throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Our staff assisted the Colonial Chapter of the American Society of Safety Engineers to coordinate a certification review course for the Associate Safety Professional designation.  Over 30 safety and health professionals from around Virginia attended this three-day review course.

Appendix A:  Education Programs

·        “Virginia Voluntary Protection Program (VVPP)”:  International Paper Inc., Waverly. (June 1).  Anna Jolly of Circle Safety and Health Consultants, and Ronald Dick of the Virginia Dept. of Labor and Industry facilitated a program on the VVPP for their safety team and management representatives.  The program highlighted the elements of the VVPP, the application process and what to expect on the VOSH inspection.  Participants worked on an application during the application workshop.

·        “Labor History”: Virginia State AFL-CIO Constitutional Convention (July 28):  Dr. Cindy Hahamovitch of the College of William and Mary and Dr. Nelson Lichtenstein of the University of Virginia facilitated a program on labor history for state and local labor representatives.  This seminar highlighted workers’ rights and civil rights’ issues that shaped the labor movement in Virginia and coincided with the 100th Anniversary of the Virginia State Federation.

·        Virginia Voluntary Protection Program (VVPP), (November 8). Anna Jolly, JD, CHMM, of Circle Safety & Health Consultants LLC, and Ronald Dick, Training Manager and VVPP Coordinator of the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry facilitated this program, which highlighted the elements of the VVPP, the application process and what to expect on the VOSH inspection.  Participants worked on an application during the application workshop.

·        Workplace Violence:  Case Studies and Control Strategies, (November 14).  Dr. Jan Thomas, CSP, EMT-B of Circle Safety & Health Consultants, LLC, facilitated this program focused on the identification, management and control of situations that lead to intentional as well as unintentional acts of violence.

·        Resume Writing Workshop: Communications Workers of America, Local 2260. (February 21 & March 1, 2001).  Drs. Jon Ackley and Randy Barker of Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Business facilitated a resume-writing workshop for Viasystems’ employees following plant layoffs.  After a brief “how-to” presentation, participants received individual assistance and tips on how to create and update their resumes.                    


Appendix B:  Research and Publications

·        “Employee Stock Ownership Plans: International Variations”.  Trumble, Robert R. and Hawkridge, Karen. International HR Journal, Vol. 10, (No.1).  The decision of whether an ESOP will be successful is examined using Geert Hofstede’s characteristics that define a culture – individualism vs. collectivism, uncertainty avoidance, quality vs. quantity, and power distance.

·        “Financial Valuation Techniques and Strategies:  ESOP Complexities”. Trumble, Robert R. and Knight, David.  Valuation Strategies. Vol. 4 (No. 5), May/June 2001. ESOP shares must be valued fairly to ensure that both the employer and employees get the maximum benefit from this powerful financial tool.  Many variables must be considered when valuing shares, and some controversy still exist as to the proper methods to apply to ensure fairness.

·         “The Aging Workforce: Searching for Ageism-Free HR Policies and New Learning Technologies”.  Cavazotte, Flavia and Trumble, Robert R. HR Advisor: Legal and Practical Guidance. Vol. 6 (No. 5), September/October 2000.  The article discusses how organizations can benefit from valuing older workers and their numerous qualities, and how new technologies in distance learning are an advantageous strategy for employers and convenient alternative for older employees.

·        Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) Grant Proposal:  Electrical Partnership:  A Cooperation Program between the Virginia Chapter of National Electrical Contractors’ Association (NECA) and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), Local 666.  This grant proposal was submitted to seek funds from FMCS to establish a labor-management committee.  The desired outcome of this grant is to improve the perception and working relationship within both parties.

·        Research Symposia:  “The Complexities of Labor-Management Committees”, and “The Interaction Between Retirement Benefits, Defined Contributions and Behavioral Finance”. Trumble, Robert R.  Papers and presentations given at the 8th Annual Meeting of the Association of Business and Behavior Science.

·        Research Funding and Database Review: This initiative focused on searching for potential sources of funding for research on employment and labor issues. Some of the potential grant sponsors identified are the Upjohn Institute, the Russell-Sage Foundation, the Department of Labor - Pensions and Welfare Benefits Administration and the National Science Foundation. Also, potential databases to be utilized in research projects, such as the National Longitudinal Survey (NLS) and the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), were also identified.


Virginia Labor Studies Center
1015 Floyd Avenue, Suite 1113
Richmond, VA 23284-4000

OFFICE: (804) 828-7484 or
(800) 793-VLSC (8572)
FAX: (804) 828-4340

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Last Updated 10/30/2002
This page is maintained by Tracy A. Jolley