Labor Summer Internship
Spend your summer learning about social and economic justice and exploring the intersections of race, class, gender, and immigration in the labor movement!
Coordinated by the UC Berkeley Labor Center and sponsored by the San Francisco Labor Council, Labor Summer is a full-time, PAID, intensive eight-week internship program designed to train the next generation of labor and community leaders.
You will learn from and work with labor and community organizations in California, applying your skills in real-world settings on issues vital to the state’s working people. You’ll also gain the skills and networks to explore and prepare for labor-related jobs after graduation.
We anticipate offering an in-person Labor Summer experience in 2022, with the most updated health and safety protocols in place.
Seeding Justice: 20 Years of Labor Summer and Growing
Why apply to the Labor Summer Internship Program?
2022 will be an incredibly significant year for working families throughout California. There’s still a long way to go before the pandemic is behind us and the economy is fully recovered—especially for low-wage working families, workers of color, and women. As we move forward, labor unions and community-based organizations will continue to be critical to building an inclusive economy that works for everyone.
Labor Summer provides you with the opportunity to be part of this incredible moment to learn about and lift up some of the most important issues affecting workers in California today.
You’ll also get the chance to develop and hone your skills alongside people working on the ground to address some of these critical challenges facing workers—low wages, wage theft, discrimination, health and safety violations, a lack of voice and power in the workplace.
How it works
Labor Summer is a PAID full-time internship for graduate and undergraduate students with two separate tracks: “Learn Organizing Skills” and “Applied Research and Policy.” By the end of Labor Summer, students will have gained valuable research and/or organizing skills that will support their success in future labor-related jobs. This is a great opportunity for graduating students who are ready to work full-time after the program, as many of our interns were hired by their host sites.
- Interns will be placed in either the organizing or research track, but all interns will attend a week-long orientation together from June 20-24. The orientation covers the U.S. labor movement (with a focus on California labor issues), trains students on specialized research or organizing skills, and introduces students to their host sites.
- Interns will spend seven weeks (40 hours/week) at a union or community-based organization, where they will learn about the intricacies and inner workings of a campaign.
- Interns participate in three day-long sessions at the Labor Center, where 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.
- The program concludes with a graduation ceremony at which interns share their experiences and learnings from the program.
- Students must produce a final presentation and evaluation of the program.
Requirements to participate in Labor Summer
- Interest in working on social and economic justice issues with unions or community-based organizations
- Ability to work with diverse communities
- Applicants must be available for the entire length of the internship to be eligible: eight weeks from Monday, June 20 to Friday, August 12, 2022.
- Applicants must be rising juniors, rising seniors, graduating seniors, or graduate students, and must be enrolled at a college or university in the United States.
- Since this is a full-time internship, interns are not permitted to take summer classes.
- Some placements will require proficiency in a specific language, such as Spanish or Cantonese.
We look forward to hosting Labor Summer in-person this year. We understand that some of you may be eager for this change, while others may be anxious. Please be assured that we value the health and safety of our interns and partner organizations. We will continue to follow the science and public health guidance from UC Berkeley and CDC. There currently is no local, state, or federal public health guidance suggesting that we should not offer an in-person internship experience. Should this change, we’re absolutely prepared to offer the internship remotely, as we have done so successfully in the past two years.
Orientation & Debrief Session Health & Safety Protocols:
If in-person, the Labor Summer Internship program will follow the UC Berkeley campuswide guidelines, including requiring proof of vaccination. We will provide and require rapid testing prior to orientation and debrief sessions. These sessions will follow physical distancing and mask protocols and we will provide masks and hand sanitizers.
Host Organizations & Tracks:
We continue to have conversations with partner organizations. Some host organizations will be in person field work while others may permit remote work. Many host sites are unions of essential workers, who have been working in-person throughout the pandemic. Organizing interns should expect to work in-person with limited opportunities for remote work. Research internships will likely be partially or fully remote.
Undergraduate and graduating senior interns will be paid $17.00 per hour.
Graduate student interns will be paid $19.00 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 willingness to knock on a door and listen to someone’s story? Can you imagine a better future for working families? Are you graduating and searching for a full-time job after graduation? 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!
If you are a freshman or sophomore we encourage you to check out our Labor Studies page for more information on how you can get involved.