Social Justice Career Fair

Recruiters return for 20th annual event
Tuesday, March 28, 2017

ILR celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Annual Social Justice Career Fair on Thursday in King-Shaw Hall.

Nineteen organizations attended to recruit students. Each year, the ILR Office of Career Services plans and organizes the career fair to bring to campus alumni and other recruiters from unions and nonprofits with an activism or social justice focus.

One of the participating organizations was the Civil Service Employees Association that has recruited at the career fair for all 20 years.

“I find that the students are amazing by being committed, passionate and all of the things that we want for an advocate in the labor union,” said Barbara Collen, HR generalist for the union.

“Over the time I’ve been coming here, I have had students come in as freshmen and by the time we see them as seniors, we know that we really want to hire them.”

One of the newcomers of the career fair was Citizen Schools, represented by Meghan McCormick A&S ’16, who was happy to be back in Ithaca after her recent graduation.

“Just talking to ILR majors it seems that the students already have the service mindset,” McCormick said. “We care a lot about teaching as an organization as a whole and it is interesting and very cool to talk to students that are interested in long-term goals in education.”

Barney Horowitz ’72 from the National Labor Relations Board has been returning to campus to recruit for 10 years and was returning for the last time before retiring.

“I like speaking to young engaged people,” Horowitz said. “There is definitely a synergy between the National Labor Relations Board and the School of Industrial and Labor Relations because the students get the tools that translate very well.”

Horowitz talked about how he has been impressed that there has been an increased diversity of the ILR student body.

“In my day, the vast majority of students were from New York and the vast majority of that were from the metropolitan area. My roommate was from Binghamton and we considered that exotic,” Horowitz said. “I now meet students from all over the country from California, New Mexico, the Midwest and Florida.”

“Also in my day, there were very few women and now what I see from here there is certainly a balance and it is all for the good,” Horowitz said.

Eric Dirnbach, Eng’92 came from Laborers’ International Union of North America. Dirnbach’s background is in engineering, but he joined the labor movement after becoming a member of  the teaching assistant’s union at Michigan.

“This is a great event and really congratulations to 20 years since I always enjoy coming to it,” Dirnbach said. “I encourage the students to jump into the movement since it has been in a crisis for decades and it will be in for some tough years under Trump.”

Alina Krauff ’18, a current student, sees the Social Justice Career Fair offering a change of perspective from the for-profit career fairs offered on campus.

“I am doing an internship right now with the UAW local here in Ithaca, so I am starting to go down the social justice route.”

Krauff is attracted to the social justice mission due to its current “uncertainty”.

“I feel that this is a very dynamic time to be involved with the movement,” Krauff said. “I think we will be seeing a lot of changes in the movement and I hope to be a part of it in any way that I can.”

The Social Justice Career Fair is a part of Union Days, a multi-day series of events led by the Worker Institute at Cornell. The 2017 theme was “Resisting, Organizing & Building Coalitions.”