Yuri Villatoro

Research Project: Precarious Workers Research Network

I am currently working on a franchising project with Professor Griffith and Shane Lancer. The purpose of the research is to diagnose the relationship between franchisers, franchisees, and employees. We are particularly focused on the fast food sector due to franchising being the predominant business structure. This semester has been quite different than last! Last semester my work was more quantitative in nature and now I am working on more qualitative research. I enjoy the variety in the research I have done the past two semesters. Meeting new research fellows and professors is also fun.

Spring/Fall 2014

Year: ILR '15

Cornell Activities/Groups/Affiliations/Leadership Roles:

  • Society of Human Resources Management
  • Peer Advisor, Engineering Co-op & Career Services
  • Cornell Tradition Fellow

Precarious Workers Project, specifically the Day Laborers Project and the Mobilizing against Inequality Website

Maria Figueroa and Legna Cabrera, from the NYC extension office, were my mentors for the day laborer project. My role in the project was pulling out and then screening different construction sites in the Brooklyn area. Once these construction sites were screened, they were added onto an excel file which was then used as the basis for a deeper research into the owners and contractors involved in the construction. I am now working on building a list of resources that range from union websites to scholarly articles that focus on topics of immigrant and labor rights.

What have you gotten out of the experience so far? I have made a lot of great connections with some great faculty and extension associates. I have also been able to experience working on research that will make an impact. My research and projects are not going to be shelved away into some dingy cabinet. It is going to be used to better understand the problems that laborers are facing.

Why might other students be interested in pursuing this opportunity? If students have any interest whatsoever in any of the topics that the Workers Institute is researching, I think they should definitely apply to be a research fellow. It is a great way to get your feet into the world of labor, and it gives you a different perspective on the labor movement. Doing research about the PATCO strike for your labor history paper is a lot different than doing research for something that is happening now and effects people's daily lives.