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Center for Labor Research and Education


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Labor Summer


June 22 – August 14, 2020

» Labor Summer 2020 Flyer PDF


General Information

The UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education (Labor Center) and co-sponsor San Francisco Central Labor Council are offering students an opportunity to spend their summer learning about social and economic justice and reflecting on the intersections of race, class, and gender and immigration in the labor movement. Labor Summer is a full-time, PAID, intensive eight-week educational internship program. Students learn from and work with labor and community organizations in Northern and Central California, applying their skills in real-world settings on issues vital to the state’s working people.

Why apply to the Labor Summer Internship Program?

Many people in California face a host of work-related challenges such as low wages, unpredictable scheduling, wage theft, discrimination, health and safety violations, and increasing living expenses. In the Labor Summer program, students hone their skills alongside people working for positive change to address these challenges. By interning with labor and community organizations, students can learn through service how the labor movement is addressing important issues facing working-class immigrants, women, and people of color.

How it works

The UC Berkeley Labor Center offers PAID internships to graduate and undergraduate students, who learn how to organize and do research to support social and economic justice for workers in California. The program has two tracks: “Learn Organizing Skills” and “Applied Research and Policy.”

  • Interns begin with a week-long orientation from June 22-26 at the Labor Center. The orientation provides an intensive training on the basics of the U.S. labor movement, with a special focus on Northern California labor issues. The orientation also covers an introduction to the students’ host sites.
  • Halfway through the orientation the tracks diverge, with separate two-day trainings for each track.
  • Interns are hosted by a union or community-based organization for seven weeks, where they are exposed to the intricacies and inner workings of a campaign.
  • Over the course of the seven-week internship, students return as a group to the Labor Center for three additional day-long sessions during which they reflect on their experiences in the field and receive additional skills-building training.
  • Interns receive guidance from both an off-site mentor who is familiar with the Labor Summer program and has years of social justice experience as well as a supervisor at their site who is engaged in a workplace or community campaign.
  • The program concludes with a graduation ceremony at which interns share their experiences and discuss how the program affected them.
  • Students are required to produce an 8- to 10-page final report and a final evaluation of the program.

Requirements to participate in Labor Summer

  • All applicants should have an interest in working on social and economic justice issues with unions or community-based organizations with a worker-organizing component. The ability to work with a diverse population is essential.
  • The internship will run for eight weeks from Monday, June 22 to Friday, August 14, 2020. This includes an intensive orientation from June 22-26 on the UC Berkeley campus. Interns must be available for the entire length of the internship to be eligible for participation.
  • This paid internship is a full-time, 40 hours a week commitment. Interns will spend the majority of their time at placement sites, but will also be required to attend education and training sessions at the Labor Center. Hours and days of work will vary depending on the project.
  • Applicants must be rising junior, senior, or grad student.
  • Some placements will require proficiency in a specific language, such as Spanish or Cantonese.
  • Some, but not all, placements will require access to a car or reliable transportation.


Undergraduate and graduating senior interns will be paid $15.00 per hour.
Graduate student interns will be paid $18.18 per hour.

Should I apply?

Have you ever organized a meeting? Researched an issue? Volunteered in your community? Taught a class? Do you have the courage to knock on a door and listen to someone’s story? Can you imagine a better future for the working poor? If your answer to any of these questions is “yes” or if you want to learn how to do these things, then Labor Summer is for you!

Students with specific needs or requirements for their programs should contact

How to apply

Students are encouraged to apply early as the program is very competitive, with typically over 100 applications for 15 to 20 slots. The timeline for the application process is as follows:

Due date for applications is Wednesday, February 26 at 11:59 PM PST.

Interviews will be held in March/April and internship offers will be made in April/May.

Learn more about the Learn Organizing Skills track.

Learn more about the Applied Research and Policy track.

Host a Labor Summer Intern at your union or community organization!

Questions about the internship? Please see our FAQ page or email us at

The UC Berkeley Labor Center and the Labor Summer Internship Program welcome participation from students of all genders and racial and ethnic backgrounds. People of color, women, LGBTQIA identified students, students from immigrant communities, and low-income and working-class backgrounds are encouraged to apply.