DLI highlights Kids’ Chance Awareness Week

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HELENA – The Montana Department of Labor & Industry today recognizes the impact Kids’ Chance of Montana has made across the state providing educational opportunities and scholarships to children of workers who have been seriously injured or killed on the job as part of Kids’ Chance Awareness Week from November 11 through 15.

Kids’ Chance of Montana, established in 2017, is one of many Kids’ Chance organizations across the United States making a difference in lives of children whose parents have been injured on the job.

Although Kids’ Chance organizations collectively reach hundreds of students each year, we know that there are more students in need of assistance, said Peter Van Nice, President of Kids’ Chance of Montana. Kids’ Chance Awareness Week helps us reach and help those that are impacted by a serious injury or fatality.

Across the nation, Kids’ Chance Awareness Week is recognized in an effort to increase the visibility of the organization and Kids’ Chance scholarship opportunities.

In their first year, Kids’ Chance of Montana provided six students with scholarships of $2,500 each. In 2018, they provided five students with scholarships of $3,500 each. Collectively, Kids’ Chance organizations across the country have awarded over 7,300 scholarships, totaling over $24 million.

Employers in Montana reported a total of 14,100 Occupational Safety and Health Administration recordable injuries and illnesses in 2018, with 11,900 of those injuries in the private industry, according to the Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses DLI released today. Of those private industry injuries and illnesses, 5,700 were serious enough to require recuperation away from work, a transfer from or restricted duties at work, or both. 

Kids Chance serves an important role in a state like Montana that has a high rate of workplace fatalities compared to the rest of the nation, Van Nice said. By investing in our childrens future, we can provide them with the tools and opportunity to be successful in the workplace, so that they can make a difference in their own and other people’s lives.

Kids’ Chance of Montana receives donations from organizations and individuals across the state. Contributors include the Montana State Fund, which donated $25,000 to the organization over the last year, WorkSafeMT which donated $23,000 in May, and a $20,000 donation from the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation in January. 

The Kids’ Chance of Montana scholarship is very, very beneficial to me for my ultimate goal of earning a civil engineering degree through Montana State where I will gain the necessary knowledge to enable my whole community to eventually go green through better research and cleaner practices, said Madison Haagenson, a Kids’ Chance scholarship recipient and junior at MSU, at the Governor’s Conference on Workers Compensation. Thank you, Kids Chance of Montana, for supporting college-bound students like me with the opportunity for financial assistance through your scholarship program.

Kids’ Chance of Montana is currently seeking new business and stakeholder partnerships across the state. For more information on Kids’ Chance of Montana scholarship opportunities and the services they provide, visit kidschanceofmontana.org. 

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