Midstate Council on Occupational Safety & Health
Workplace safety & health training & advocacy in New York’s Southern Tier and Finger Lakes Regions: Seneca, Cayuga Counties, Tompkins, Cortland, Schuyler, Tioga, Broome and Chemung Counties.
Our Mission & Work
For more than 25 years, MCOSH (Midstate Council on Occupational Safety and Health) has provided preventative training and critical services to workers in all industries. Our mission is rooted in the belief all workers have the right to a safe, just and equitable workplace. In recent years, our work has become focused upon social justice in the workplace. Even as Southern states are showing their contempt for central American migrants, we have focused upon support and organizing among essential migrant farm and restaurant workers in the New York mid-state region, with much of our work taking place in Tompkins County. Co-Director Carlos Gutierrez has been partnering with the United Food & Commercial Workers union to organize Latinx workers, and he has been providing critical services like transportation to health clinics, translation between farmers and farm workers, assisting undocumented workers to apply for driver’s licenses, helping workers initiate the workers’ compensation process, and connecting workers with trusted medical providers. We have also for several years facilitated Teens Lead @ Work, a youth workplace leadership development program for Tomkins County youth.
Tom Joyce, Chair
Painters and Allied Trades Union, District Council 4
Ron Powell, Board Member
United Auto Workers retired,
Service Employees International Union
Carl Feuer, Treasurer
Tompkins County Workers’ Center and
United Auto Workers 2300 staff retired
Carlos Gutierrez, Secretary
Tompkins County Workers’ Center
Antonio Triana, Board Member,
Former MCOSH Youth Program Manager, Current Graduate Student at Syracuse University
Keane Leitch, Board Member
Health, Environment and Safety Manager, Cornell University,
Dr. Michael Lax, MD, Board Member
Medical Director of the Central NY Occupational Health Clinical Center
Carlos Gutierrez, Co-Director
Craig Livermore, Co-Director
Luz (Lucy) Williams, Bilingual Trainer and Organizer
Elizabeth Burns, Bookkeeper
Deeper Dive: Lead Organizer Carlos Gutierrez
For forty years, Carlos has been working as an immigrant in jobs very similar to the workers we serve, working his way through college, and constantly working as an organizer and activist for immigrant rights. When he came to the United States, he lived in Boulder, Colorado, where he worked in various restaurants, and eventually received a scholarship to attend Colorado University. While in Boulder, he organized with Mexican immigrants and started a “Chicano Rights” newspaper which was distributed in Colorado and Texas. He also worked for several years as a meat packer in Texas (while voluntarily organizing the Latinx community). He then moved to New York City where he worked by driving a delivery truck and worked at a children’s home before getting a job with the New York City Department of Children Service, where he was a case worker and advocate for children. He then moved upstate to the Ithaca area, where he worked for sixteen years with the New York Department of Youth and Families, and the Department of Labor, while founding and organizing the Latino Civic Association of Tompkins County, an organization in which he is still active. In 2008, he began working for the Tompkins County Worker Center organizing and advocating for Latinx workers in the County. As part of the Workers Center, he met the board members at Midstate COSH, who were also involved in the Workers Center. He has been working for Midstate COSH for the past ten years.
We are currently receiving grant funding from OSHA’ s Targeted Training program, NYS’s Department of Labor Hazard Abatement Board and Workplace Health and Safety programs, the Park Foundation and the Community Foundation of Tompkins County. We have also regularly received donations from Painters’ District Council #4, the Tompkins-Cortland Building Trades Council, Teamsters Local 317 and the Ithaca Teachers’ Association.