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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.

Labor Relations Fundamentals

The Worker Institute's online labor studies trainings provides busy union activists with an opportunity to take college credit courses without regard to their location or work schedules.

Labor Leadership Skills Program

The Labor Leadership Skills Program is designed for union members, leaders and activists. The workshops are intended to increase their ability to successfully respond to new conditions confronting organized labor.

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Cornell ILR Online Labor Studies Program

While there is no physical classroom there is considerable student-to-student and student-to-instructor interaction, making for lively discussions and group learning.

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New York State AFL-CIO Cornell 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.

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National Labor Leadership Initiative

The National Labor Leadership Initiative (NLLI) is an intensive year-long leadership development program for top-level national leaders in the labor movement and the broader movement for worker justice.

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Customized Training

The Worker Institute faculty have experience in most industries and can design a program around the particular needs and characteristics of your organization. In addition, all Worker Institute and Cornell ILR courses and workshops can be customized to fit your specific needs.

Examples include:

  • Specialized training for a union bargaining committee and staff preparing to engage in a public or private sector collective bargaining
  • Team building for a new union executive board or staff
  • Strategic research training for union leaders in a specific industry
  • Training for union stewards/delegates or internal organizers on building membership involvement and contract enforcement
  • Training on "Managing and Supervising with Labors Values" tailored to your union

To discuss your organization's training needs contact:

Kim Cook
Extension Faculty
New York City Office, (212) 340-2824

Arthur Wheaton
Workplaces & Industry Education Specialist
Buffalo Office, (716) 852-4191

Managing with Labor's Values - Parts 1 & 2

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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Topical Trainings

Labor Leading on Climate Training


The Labor Leading on Climate Initiative advances knowledge, policies, and practices to enhance the role of labor and working people in addressing the environmental and climate crises.


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Climate Jobs Now! Summit
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We Rise Training


We Rise formed as a coalition in 2017 to address the injustices in the domestic worker industry. These organizations recognized that domestic work was largely invisibilized and undervalued and the importance of creating a workforce empowerment program supported by a Cornell certificate and channels for organizing.


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Learn more about the We Rise Training

Workplace Health and Safety Training


ILR's Workplace Health and Safety program was established to advance knowledge and heighten responsiveness to workplace issues and environmental concerns. By applying scientific and technical information and awareness to workplace policies, procedures, processes and products, organizations can yield a safer work atmosphere. 


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