Department of Labor - Standard Occupational Classification

In January 2009, the Executive Office of the President's Office of Management and Budget officially published the 2010 Standard Occupational Classifications (SOC) listing for the US Department of Labor.  The 2010 SOC includes a unique occupational classification for Community Health Worker (SOC 21-1094).  Community health workers are dedicated individuals who function along a continuum ranging from individual and community development to service delivery promoting community empowerment and social justice.  They often help link people to needed health care information and services.

The original request to the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to grant CHWs a unique standard occupational classification (SOC) was submitted by the CHW Section of APHA which was chaired at the time by the Executive Director of the Community Health Worker Network of NYC.  The BLS response to that request was the recommendation that DOL expand the "Health Educator" category to include CHWs. Our Executive Director, in his role as Chair, led the national campaign that succeeded in securing a unique SOC for CHWs.