Labor Summer Internship

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"This experience opened my eyes to the world of labor, a world that impacts all of our lives. Labor Summer provided me with enriching professional experience, long lasting relationships and a deeper understanding and empathy for the movement."
- Labor Summer Intern


June 21 – August 13, 2021
Orientation week: June 21-25
Labor Summer Graduation Ceremony: August 13
Application Deadline: January 29, 2021

Labor Center
2521 Channing Way #5555
Berkeley, CA 94720

General Information

The UC Berkeley 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, 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 California, applying their skills in real-world settings on issues vital to the state’s working people. Due to shelter in place, Labor Summer transitioned to be a remote internship in 2020 and will continue to be a remote program in 2021.

Seeding Justice: 20 Years of Labor Summer and Growing

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. The work driving the labor movement is critical now more than ever due to the impacts that COVID 19 has had on workers, especially workers of color. The effects have led to massive unemployment and more Californians at risk of losing their homes. The need for support in organizing and research is essential.

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 21-25. The orientation provides an intensive training on the basics of the U.S. labor movement, with a special focus on 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 participate in 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 a final presentation 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 21 to Friday, August 13, 2021. This includes an intensive orientation from June 21-25. 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 juniors, rising seniors, graduating seniors, or grad students, and must be enrolled at a college or university in the United States.
  • Some placements will require proficiency in a specific language, such as Spanish or Cantonese.
  • The program will currently be remote in compliance with state and CDC guidelines


Undergraduate and graduating senior interns will be paid $16.42 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!

Program Contacts