The labor movement and allied organizations face a shortage of strategic researchers. This course aims to increase the supply of people who understand how to research corporate structure and power and develop union campaign strategies. Through hands-on research training, students learn how to investigate corporate ownership, finance, organization, and power. Students learn how to analyze the key relationships, profit centers, growth strategies, and key decision-makers that drive a particular corporation and shape its labor relations strategy. They also learn how unions can best respond to and capitalize on these characteristics through comprehensive organizing and bargaining campaigns.
Students will be given access to readings and online course materials several weeks before the course takes place, with the expectation that the reading is completed before the course begins. This year the course will be held online, via Zoom, utilizing a combination of teaching methods, including short lectures, readings, discussion, small-group exercises, individual research activities, group research projects, and group presentations.
Due to this year’s online format, it is imperative that students have access to a stable internet connection, laptop or desktop computer, webcam, and microphone for the duration of the course.
In addition all accepted students must be able to download and use the following software on their computers before the summer school begins (we will offer online tutorials).
- Zoom Client for Meetings. Check the Zoom system requirements for Windows, macOS, and Linux to ensure your laptop/desktop meets all requirements and recommendations
- Chrome (recommended) or Firefox web browser (cannot use Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge)
- Internet receiving speed of at least 4.0Mbps
Regular and Advanced Tracks
There are two tracks for the course — regular and advanced. Students taking the advanced track are required to conduct independent research and write a paper of twenty-five to thirty pages, summarizing comprehensive corporate research and analysis for a designated company. The final paper will be due six weeks after the course ends. Any advanced-track students currently enrolled in a college or university who are interested in gaining credit for the course can work with the director to help set up independent study credit with their school.
Applicants interested in pursuing strategic corporate research positions within unions are encouraged to take the advanced track. This track provides additional experience researching an actual corporation and completing a strategic research report to show prospective union employers. However, this only occurs if they can fulfill the advanced track requirements and commit the time to complete the paper. Program instructors can make job referrals for strategic corporate research positions within the labor movement for successful program graduates.
We welcome international students and have several attend each year. Please note, because this year’s program is online and students will be participating from their home country, applicants should consider the time zone difference before applying to the program. All course times provided are Eastern Time (ET).