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Worker Institute Executive Director, Patricia Campos-Medina, was quoted in "With ‘Migrations,’ Big Red Scholars Navigate a World in Motion"

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The Future of Care Work: Taking Care of Care Workers

Taking Care of Care Workers is a convening in New York City on June 16 & 17, 2023 to lay the foundation for this network with care economy leaders, centering on the needs, voices, and experiences of workers who are providing care while facing steep barriers to accessing care themselves. 

Location: ILR NYC Conference Center

570 Lexington Ave, 12th fl

New York, NY 10022 

child care
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Union’s Role in the Prevention of Sexual Harassment and Gender Based Violence: Lessons Learned and Promising Practices

From the #MeToo movement, to the surge of anti-LGBTQI+ discrimination—unions face the challenge of how to tackle the impact of sexual harassment and gender-based violence on their members. The roots of gender discrimination and sexual violence are deeply embedded in workplace culture, as our workplaces are microcosms of society.

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Equity in Focus Series


February 24, 2022

Job Creation for a Just Society 

We explore how equity in job creation is defined – with a focus on job growth through the current expansion of infrastructure investment. 


April 26, 2022

Investing in Childcare Careers 

We explore the challenges of the childcare industry and highlight local examples that are improving access to child care while also raising wages for child care workers.


June 29, 2022

Building a Diverse and Inclusive Clean Energy Workforce

How the U.S. can tackle the climate crisis and create high-quality union jobs for women and frontline communities of color that suffer the most from climate change, pollution and historic inequities.


September 22, 2022

Equity in Focus Summit

The US Department of Labor Women’s Bureau and The Worker Institute co-hosted a day-long conversation on how prioritizing gender and racial equity promotes a strong and just economy.   


 April 19, 2023

Equity in Focus Job Creation For a Just Society, Report Launch

The Worker Institute released its Equity in Focus Report which captures lessons learned from our partners in the field driving innovation in job creation for women and workers of color. This report is a compilation of key findings to emerge out of our one-year webinar series conducted in partnership with the U. S. Department of Labor Women's Bureau.

The Worker Institute serves as a hub for policy research, publication, and training for policymakers, entrepreneurs, and activists engaged in the public debate to reduce economic inequality.

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Equity at Work

The Equity at Work initiative examines how the workplace is impacted by the evolving and changing norms of the social construction of gender roles, identity, and expression. This includes discussion of current and evolving workers' rights, the workplace contexts in which they currently exist, and individual, organizational and cultural interventions that promote and expand employment issues of respect, fairness, equity and justice.

Find out more about Equity at Work

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Precarious Work

The Precarious Workforce Initiative focuses on the labor rights and socioeconomic conditions of low-wage and contingent workers, who receive little or no benefits and have largely no institutional or legal protection.

These workers constitute the most vulnerable segment of the workforce. Their ranks include, but are not limited to, day laborers, immigrants, domestic workers, young workers, the unemployed and the formerly incarcerated.

Learn more about Precarious Work

Labor Leadership Development


The Worker Institute builds on a 75-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 Labor Leadership Development work focuses on labor movement leadership development, strategy design and organizational change in unions, professional associations and other worker organizations.


ULI Class of 2019
Discover our Labor Leadership Development programs

Education and Training

For over 75 years, the Cornell ILR School has provided support, education and scholarship to assist working people in ensuring their rights on the job and building effective organizations and strong communities. The Worker Institute's training and education programs are designed to deepen the knowledge and strengthen the skills of union leaders, activists, and staff. We offer several ways for students to pursue their goals. Learn more.


Managing with Labor's Values

It is critical that managers at unions and social justice organizations receive training to become effective leaders and make the best use of limited resources. Participants learn techniques for helping their staff succeed and respond appropriately to common issues while honoring the values of the labor movement.


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Free Workplace Health and Safety Virtual Series

Learn from and ask questions to a certified industrial hygienist, biologist and chemist and expert on occupational health and safety every second Friday, starting in September.

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Union Leadership Institute

The New York State AFL-CIO/Cornell Union Leadership Institute (ULI) prepares labor and worker-justice leaders to effectively and strategically advance the rights of workers. Founded in 2001, ULI helps labor and worker justice leaders strengthen their organizations so that they are bold, innovative and able to adapt to a changing global economy and workforce.

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Student Engagement


The Worker Institute at Cornell is committed to engaging Cornell ILR undergraduate and graduate students through our coursesresearch fellowshipsgraduate programs, and other professional development opportunities.


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Learn more about our work with students.

Amazon Labor Organizers Encourage Solidarity

For more than 300 days, Amazon workers talked with their peers to build relationships, trust and, ultimately, a union that many thought would never be possible, Amazon Labor Union leaders said at ILR during Union Days.
Chris Small speaks at 2013 Union Days
Amazon Labor Organizers Encourage Solidarity

Equity in Focus: Job Creation for a Just Society

This report explores these themes and discusses how policymakers, practitioners, and advocates are addressing the inequities in three sectors: the child care economy, the clean energy economy, and the construction trades, as presented in the Equity in focus—Job Creation for a Just Society series.
Women working during the pandemic
Equity in Focus: Job Creation for a Just Society

Diminishing NYS Public Mental Health Sector

This report explores the effects that privatization and austerity have had on mental healthcare capacity in NYS & the employment & wages of public sector mental health workers. Research finds that the public sector mental healthcare workforce & the state’s mental healthcare capacity have decreased significantly between 1990 & 2021.
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Diminishing NYS Public Mental Health Sector

Strong Support Among New Yorkers for Improving Home Care Workers’ Pay

In New York and around the country, home care workers deliver critical services to older adults and people with disabilities, providing support with activities of daily living and medically oriented care under the direction of nurses and other medical professionals.
home care attendant
Strong Support Among New Yorkers for Improving Home Care Workers’ Pay

ULI Alumni Shares His Leadership Path to Public Office

A spotlight on ULI alumni, Randy Brolo.
Randy Brolo - ULI alumni spotlight
ULI Alumni Shares His Leadership Path to Public Office

Union Days 2023

Union Days begin March 15 with "Unions on Campus," a presentation and panel discussion with members from different university worker organizations.
United Student Group
Union Days 2023

Lois Gray Innovation Initiative 

The Lois Gray Innovation Initiative was founded by labor pioneer Lois Gray to generate innovative thinking and solutions to problems related to work, economy, and society.

The Lois Gray Innovation Fund provide financial incentives for collaboration between resident and extension faculty in relation to priority programs of The Worker Institute.

It ensures faculty, researchers and students have the opportunity to fulfill the institute’s mission of advancing worker rights and collective representation.


Lois Gray, ILR School faculty member
Learn more about the Initiative


The Worker Institute at Cornell engages in research and 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. Learn more.

Our Mission

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Meet our Team

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Learn more about our staff

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