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Center for Labor Research and Education


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Host an Intern

Union and CBO Program Description

Contact: Alicia Flores, 510-643-0910,

» Apply now!
» 2017 Program Flyer PDF

Unions today are facing unprecedented challenges. Every organization needs talented and effective people to contribute to their work on the ground. The Labor Center’s summer internship program — Labor Summer — has proved to be a very successful way to connect skilled and committed students to unions and labor organizations that can benefit from their contributions.

Gaining valuable skills

Labor Summer is not just another summer internship program. Students not only learn about unions, they also see how their passion for social justice and organizing or research skills can make a valuable contribution to their host organizations. In the past, our organizing interns have learned many strategies and tools for leadership development in the workplace or community. They have had the opportunity to shadow seasoned organizers as they identified and developed new leaders, mapped community networks, and facilitated committee and coalition meetings. Our research interns have been able to assist research staff on long-term and short-term projects that include industry and sectoral analysis, policy analysis, and research on regional and economic development.

Opportunities to meet students

Unions also benefit from graduates of the program who constitute a highly-skilled, well-trained and committed group of new talent. Over its fifteen-year history, the Labor Summer program has racked up an impressive record. It has trained and placed more than 200 interns. Alumni of the program have gone on to become union researchers, community and labor organizers, labor representatives, educators, and leaders and activists in their own union locals.

The Labor Summer program provides an extremely valuable and successful vehicle for students to learn how their skills and energy can connect with the labor movement and to working people. It allows students to contextualize their own experiences and to learn the importance of the labor movement through a critical framework. It provides resources and access to the University for unions and community organizations in the form of students, and perhaps most importantly, it provides preparation for and entry into the labor movement to a diverse group of students with valuable skills.

The Labor Summer program

  • Recruits talented graduate and undergraduate students.
  • Screens and selects the best interns based on your organizational needs.
  • Provides interns with an intensive week-long orientation to the labor movement, with a focus on Northern California, and concrete research and organizing skill development.
  • Supports host organizations on supervision guidelines and how to best use the intern’s skills.
  • Pairs interns with Labor Center staff or alumni of the program as mentors.
  • Places skilled and committed students for seven weeks at your organization from June 26-August 10, 2017.
  • Requires host sites to release interns to attend 3 education and training sessions at the Labor Center as well as the graduation ceremony on August 11.
  • Provides the opportunity to hire pre-screened and trained students.

Requirements for host organizations

  • A clear project for interns including goals, objectives and a timeline.
  • An assigned staff person to supervise the interns’ work, provide support and feedback and be available to the intern.
  • An office location within commuting distance of the greater Bay Area or possibly Central California.
  • Ability to contribute funds up front for the interns’ stipend and training costs.
  • Ability to compensate interns using their own cars for mileage.

Program dates: June 19–August 11, 2017

Program cost

$6,200 for an undergraduate student
$7,200 for a graduate student

This covers the pay of the intern for 8 weeks (for graduate student researchers at $18.18 per hour and for undergraduate interns at $15 per hour) as well as modest administrative costs to run the program.

Application due date: February 27, 2017

Interns will begin at their site placements on June 26 after they have completed their one-week orientation at the Labor Center.