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The Worker Institute

Advancing worker rights and collective representation

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Education & Training

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Which of our training programs is right for you?

For over 60 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.

Union Skills Workshops

The Worker Institute's public workshops offer practical skills and strategies to full time union leaders, union staff, and others.

Who will benefit?

Our Union Skills Workshops are public programs open to union leaders, staff and activists, and social justice organization leaders.

Topics covered

Assertive Grievance Handling, Labor Law, Public Speaking, Collective Bargaining and others.

College credit or certificates earned

These programs can be taken individually for enrichment or for job-specifc training. A Basic Labor Leadership Skills Certificate and a Managing with Labor’s Values Certificate can be earned. These programs do not grant college credit.

Locations

New York City, Buffalo, Rochester and on-line.  Managing with Unions Values is also offered in Washington DC.

Time commitment

Workshops are generally 1-4 days and run from 9:00am to 4:30pm or 5:00pm.

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College credit courses

Our credit programs offer college credit and to students pursuing a strong theoretical and practical understanding of union-side labor relations.

Who will benefit?

Program open to union leaders, staff and activists, and social justice organization leaders.

Topics covered

Labor and Employment Law, Collective Bargaining, Arbitration, Labor History and many others.

College credit or certificates earned

Each course earns 3 or 4 credits. To earn a certificate, students must complete 16 or 18 credits depending on program.

Locations

New York City and online.

Time commitment

12 and 15 week in-person credit courses are available in the fall and spring semesters on weekday evenings (6:00pm-9:20 pm), online class schedules vary.

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NYS AFL-CIO/Cornell Union Leadership Institute (ULI)

The New York State AFL-CIO/Cornell Union Leadership Institute prepares New York's union leaders to more effectively and strategically tackle the tough challenges now facing the labor movement.

Who will benefit?

Applicants must hold significant leadership positions (i.e., elected or appointed officers or staff) and must be nominated or sponsored by their union.

Topics covered

Critical Challenges in Union Leadership, Internal Organizing , Union Growth, Solidarity Across Difference, Global Economics, Power, Politics and Organizational Change.

College credit or certificates earned

Non-credit or credit. Students have the option to earn up to 12 credits or earn the non-credit certificate.

Locations

Students attend seminars in Ithaca, Rye, Albany and New York City.

Time commitment

One-year program starts with a week on the Cornell University campus in Ithaca, NY, four seminars held Thursday to Saturday throughout the year and another week in the following summer on the Cornell campus. Also involves fieldwork and mentoring.

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Customized Training

We can deliver programs carefully designed to address the specific needs and characteristics of your organization.

Who will benefit?

Training can be designed for executive committees, bargaining committees, shop stewards, staff, etc.

Topics covered

Any of our pre-existing workshops or courses can be customized or we can design something specifically for your union.

College credit or certificates earned

Usually noncredit but courses can be designed to earn credit through the CUNY partnership. Cornell certificates of completion can be awarded.

Locations

Trainings can be conducted at your location, at a Cornell office or other location of your choosing.

Time commitment

Training can be provided on weekdays, evenings or weekends for whatever amount of time that meets your needs.

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