Mourning for Prof. Dr. jur. Dr. phil. h.c. Josef Schäfers

The Institute for Technology and Labour (ITA) mourns the death of Prof. Dr. jur. Dr. phil. h.c.. Josef Schäfers. Prof. Schäfers was President of the Rhineland-Palatinate State Office for Youth and Social Affairs (today: State Office for Social Affairs, Youth and Welfare) from 1973 to 1995, as well as Foundation Commissioner of the Diocese of Mainz from 1995 to 2003. In his role as President of the State Office, Prof. Schäfers devoted much energy to research in the field of vocational participation of people with disabilities and initiated research centres at the universities of Trier and Kaiserslautern.

In spring 1985, he held initial talks with Prof. Dr. Klaus J. Zink on the creation of a research unit at the University of Kaiserslautern with a focus on labour science. In 1989, this became reality (Research Unit Technology and Work at the Chair of Industrial Management and Labour Science) and finally led in 1995 to the founding of the Institute for Technology and Work (ITA) as a registered and non-profit association and its recognition as a scientific institution at the Technical University of Kaiserslautern, with Prof. Schäfers as one of the founding members.

For his commitment, the University of Kaiserslautern awarded him an honorary doctorate in the Department of Economics in 1992.

Prof. Schäfers' initiative to dedicate research to the vocational participation of people with disabilities has had an impact on ITA to this day: today, the Institute is recognised nationwide for its decades of implementation-oriented research on the sustainable improvement of the vocational participation situation of people with disabilities.

Prof. Schäfers passed away on 4 November at the age of 90. We wish his relatives much strength and the support of family, relatives and friends.

Dr Harald Weber, Chairman of the Board of ITA

Prof. Dr Klaus J. Zink, Founder of ITA and Honorary Chairman

Prof. Dr. Matthias Rohs, Scientific Director of ITA