Victor Riomana

Summer 2014

Year: ILR '17

Cornell Activities/Groups/Affiliations/Leadership Roles:

  • Safety Monitor at Cornell Fitness Centers
  • Member of PorColombia
  • Member of Sabor Latino Dance Ensemble

Project: Workers' Justice Project

Describe your research project: I came to the Worker Institute to be a part of the Workers' Justice Project, in which I helped collect data on Brooklyn's residential construction industry. The goal was to use my findings to help improve the working conditions of day laborers. I attended OSHA 10 classes and conducted safety audits at local constructions sites to verify that contractors were complying with regulations. During my time at the Institute, I also worked on a project conducting strategic research for fair labor campaigns. I complied a set of company profiles to create a bigger industry profile and identify leverage points for a successful campaign.

What have you gotten out of the experience so far? My fellowship provided me with a chance to help a community directly. The Workers' Justice Project was very interactive and I got to witness first hand, the impact of my work. I found this extremely satisfying and motivating. I felt that my fellowship enhanced my problem solving and analytically skills. I was able to work with great people and really connected with my mentors. I am walking away from the experience with a better understanding of the labor movement, both in NYC and the entire nation. I found my time at the Worker Institute encouraged my passion for social justice and helped me develop a more strategic way of thinking in terms of work and my future.

What kind of student might be interested in a research fellowship at the Worker Institute? I think the best fit for the Worker Institute would be a motivated student, who likes to be an active participant and is passionate about battling injustice. I feel it is a good place to make first contact with the labor movement and a suitable place for students who want to learn while working.