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Center for Labor Research and Education


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The Center for Labor Research and Education (Labor Center) is a public service and outreach program of the UC Berkeley Institute for Research on Labor and Employment. Founded in 1964, the Labor Center conducts research and education on issues related to labor and employment. The Labor Center’s curricula and leadership trainings serve to educate a diverse new generation of labor leaders. The Labor Center carries out research on topics such as job quality and workforce development issues, and we work with unions, government, and employers to develop innovative policy perspectives and programs. We also provide an important source of research and information on unions and the changing workforce for students, scholars, policymakers and the public.

  • Advisory Board

    Rome Aloise, International Brotherhood of Teamsters Joint Council
    James Araby, United Food and Commercial Workers International Union Region 8 – Western States Council
    Nikki Bas, East Bay Alliance for A Sustainable Economy
    Jim Beno, International Association of Machinists Lodge 190
    Michael Bilbrey, California School Employees Association
    Doug Bloch, International Brotherhood of Teamsters Joint Council 7
    Cheryl Brown, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 57
    Clair Brown, University of California, Berkeley, Institute for Research on Labor and Employment
    Karen Chapple, University of California, Berkeley, Department of City and Regional Planning
    Sherri Chiesa, UNITE HERE Western Regional Office
    Andreas Cluver, Building & Construction Trades Council of Alameda County
    Rose Ann DeMoro, California Nurses Association
    Greg Feere, Building & Construction Trades Council of Contra Costa County
    Netsy Firestein, Labor Project for Working Families
    Fred Glass, American Federation of Teachers/CFT Local 771
    Margaret Hanlon-Gradie, Contra Costa Central Labor Council
    Karin Hart, Laney College Labor Studies
    Aram Hodess, United Association of Plumbers and Pipe Fitters Local 159
    Malo Hutson, University of California, Berkeley, Department of City and Regional Planning
    Shelley Kessler, San Mateo County Central Labor Council
    Mark Kyle, International Union of Operating Engineers Local 3
    Mark Leach, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 617
    James Lincoln, University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business
    Ron Lind, United Food and Commercial Workers International Union Local 5
    Bill Lloyd, Service Employees International Union
    John Logan, San Francisco State University Labor Studies Department
    Derecka Mehrens, Working Partnerships USA
    Peter Olney, International Longshore & Warehouse Union
    Lou Paulson, California Professional Firefighters
    Tim Paulson, San Francisco Labor Council
    Art Pulaski, California Labor Federation
    Tom Rankin, California Alliance for Retired Americans
    Michael Reich, University of California, Berkeley, Institute for Research on Labor and Employment
    Robert Reich, University of California, Berkley, Goldman School of Public Policy
    David Rosenfeld, Weinberg, Roger & Rosenfeld
    Jesse Rothstein, University of California, Berkeley, Institute for Research on Labor and Employment
    Libby Sayre, Communications Workers of America District 9
    Harley Shaiken, University of California, Berkeley, Center for Latin American Studies
    Bill Shields, City College of San Francisco Labor & Community Studies
    Laura Stock, University of California, Berkeley, Labor Occupational Health Program
    Victor Uno, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 595
    Kim Voss, University of California, Berkeley, Department of Sociology
    Richard Walker, University of California, Berkeley, Department of Geography
    Yvonne Walker, Service Employees International Union Local 1000 – Sacramento
    Margaret Weir, University of California, Berkeley, Department of Sociology

  • People

    View a full list of current staff.

  • Funding

    The Labor Center’s funding sources include the State of California, foundations, other government entities, businesses, unions, and community organizations.

    The Labor Center provides technical services for a variety of stakeholders, including business, labor, government, and community organizations.

  • Jobs

    Media Communications Specialist

    About Berkeley
    The University of California, Berkeley, is one of the world’s most iconic teaching and research institutions. Since 1868, Berkeley has fueled a perpetual renaissance, generating unparalleled intellectual, economic and social value in California, the United States and the world. Berkeley’s culture of openness, freedom and acceptance—academic and artistic, political and cultural—make it a very special place for students, faculty and staff.

    Berkeley is committed to hiring and developing staff who want to work in a high performing culture that supports the outstanding work of our faculty and students. In deciding whether to apply for a staff position at Berkeley, candidates are strongly encouraged to consider the alignment of the Berkeley Workplace Culture with their potential for success at

    Application Review Date
    The First Review Date for this job is December 3, 2015.

    Departmental Overview
    The Institute for Research on Labor and Employment (IRLE) is an “Organized Research Unit” of the University of California at Berkeley. IRLE brings together faculty from several academic departments and supports multidisciplinary research about labor and employment relations. IRLE sponsors many faculty-run research centers. IRLE sponsors numerous community service programs, including the California Public Employee Relations, Center for Labor Research and Education (the Labor Center), and the Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics. It publishes the widely respected academic journal, Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, and houses an important research library that collects and preserves a wide array of information about work, organizations and labor issues.

    IRLE is currently seeking a Media Communications Specialist. The person in this role will be responsible for the communication & publicity strategy for IRLE and the research centers within this division. Incumbent will advance the work of the Institute through amplifying the research via strategic communications efforts. This position will identify, coordinate and implement public program strategy. Provides communication trainings to staff, faculty and outside partners. Communication Specialist assists the IRLE staff and affiliated faculty to craft, edit, and refine content for op-eds, blog posts, and more. The position will report to the Director of IRLE.

    This is a full-time Career appointment.

    Communications & Publicity

    • Coordinates communications strategy for the IRLE and member research centers: Center for Labor Research and Education, Center for the Study of Child Care Employment, Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics, California Employee Public Relations, Don Vial Center on Employment in the Green Economy.
    • Identifies opportunities to disseminate research and enhance media attention for the Institutes programs through appropriate print, broadcast, and online sources.
    • Formulates and implements comprehensive public relations strategy. Recommends best methods for collecting, organizing, and presenting the IRLE’s programs and research to a broad audience.
    • Works with IRLE affiliated faculty and member Centers to develop overall communication plans and specific plans for report releases, policy briefs and events.
    • Drafts press releases, conducts outreach to media.
    • Triages incoming media requests and directs to appropriate researcher.
    • Works with staff and affiliated faculty to draft and edit op-eds and blog posts.
    • Fosters relationships with media contacts and academic publications.
    • Identifies key outlets to solicit for publication.
    • Secures reviews, articles, and interviews; organizes press events as appropriate.
    • Functions as primary point-of-contact between IRLE researchers and media resources; fact-checks and responds to media representatives as appropriate on the IRLE’s behalf.
    • Occasionally called upon to act as spokesperson for the IRLE.
    • As assigned, handles breaking news situations, including developing strategies for dealing with sensitive and/or controversial issues.
    • Establishes and cultivates relationships with organizational partners.
    • Represents IRLE to campus, professional and community organizations as needed.
    • Works with staff to enhance continuity of communications.
    • Develop and maintain media contact list.
    • Produces quality work under deadlines.
    • Under minimal supervision, provides analysis and information on complex results or activities.
    • Builds and maintains good working relationships at all organizational levels and with external media representatives.

    Coordinate IRLE Staff on Communications Related Work

    • Coordinates and supervises IRLE staff with responsibility for components of the communications process, including graphic design/layout of publications, preparation of shorter outreach-oriented publications (e.g., issue briefs), and web site design.
    • Supervises re-design and coordinate content of IRLE website; maintains website accuracy and currency.
    • Works with staff of the research centers on social media strategy.
    • Coordinates between the five centers on media strategy.

    Public Program Strategy and Implementation

    • Identifies topics and partnerships for new public programs and events to disseminate research.
    • Coordinates with organizations and internal staff to develop information programs. Assists with planning, publicity and coordination as necessary.
    • Functions as liaison between key coordinators and presenters, to plan and implement events.

    Communications Trainings and other duties as assigned

    • Provides communication trainings to staff, faculty and outside partners.
    • Monitors policy development and conducts background research and prepares staff for interviews.
    • Performs other duties as needed.

    Required Qualifications

    • Bachelors degree in related area and/or equivalent experience/training
    • Minimum of 5 years of progressively responsible work experience in a similar role or field.
    • Thorough knowledge of the concepts and principles of news, media communications and media relations.
    • Thorough skills in understanding and effectively utilizing all news/media mediums including broadcast news, the internet and other emerging technologies.
    • Thorough knowledge of the campus, its achievements, mission, vision, goals, objectives, programs and infrastructure.
    • May require knowledge of specialty areas such as broadcast news including TV/radio, internet and other emerging technologies.
    • Thorough written, verbal and interpersonal communications skills, including a strong sense of a good story and understanding of the topics that may be of interest to various publics and will incorporate key campus messages.
    • Good judgment, political acumen, and thorough organizational skills.
    • Skill to maintain confidentiality.

    Salary & Benefits
    Hiring salary range is between $58,700 – $89,800 annually. Salary will be commensurate with experience.

    For information on the comprehensive benefits package offered by the University visit:

    How to Apply
    Please apply through the UC Berkeley jobs portal:
    Please submit your cover letter and resume as a single attachment when applying.

    Equal Employment Opportunity
    The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or protected veteran status. For more information about your rights as an applicant see:

    For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see:

  • Contact

    UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education
    Institute for Research on Labor and Employment
    2521 Channing Way # 5555
    Berkeley, CA 94720
    Phone: (510) 642-0323
    Fax: (510) 642-6432

  • Donate

    Your tax-deductible donation will support the Labor Center’s research and education activities in support of California workers.

    Make a Gift Online »

    You may also send a check payable to “Friends of the Labor Center” to:

    University of California, Berkeley
    Gift Processing File #31932
    P.O. Box 774
    Berkeley, CA 94701-0774

    If you would like to target your gift to the work of a particular researcher or to some other specific aspect of our work, or for more information, please contact our Development Coordinator:

    Sarah Lawton
    Development Coordinator
    (510) 643-7077