The Worker Institute

Photo: The Worker Institute

The Worker Institute at Cornell in Buffalo provides education on contemporary labor issues, to generate innovative thinking and solutions to problems related to work, economy and society.  The institute brings together researchers, educators, and students with practitioners in labor, business, and policymaking to confront growing economic and social inequalities, in the interests of working people and their families.  A core value of the Worker Institute is that collective representation and workers' rights are vital to a fair economy, robust democracy and just society.

Training and Education

The Worker Institute builds on a 60+ year tradition by the ILR School to help fulfill Cornell’s land grant mission – to assist working people in ensuring their rights on the job and in building effective organizations and strong communities. Our education and training programs, online and in-house, are designed to deepen the knowledge and strengthen the skills of workers as well as leaders of unions, worker centers, non-profit and policy organizations.

Specialty Services

Our on staff certified industrial hygienist provides instruction, research and service to answer questions by identifying and investigating hazards and suggesting plans to eliminate or minimize them to protect the long-term health and safety of workers and families in every environment.  

Research and Initiatives

The Worker Institute in Buffalo collaborates on projects with networks of non-traditional labor organizations representing day laborers, domestic workers, cosmetologists, barbers and nail technicians, transitional re-entry trainees, farmworkers and more.  Our faculty also plays an important role in advancing labor’s involvement in the transition for a more environmentally sustainable future.