Host an Intern

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Unions and community organizations today are facing unprecedented challenges. Over its 21-year history, the Labor Summer program has proven to be a valuable and successful vehicle for students to discover how their skills and energy can connect with the labor movement and working people. It allows students to contextualize their own experiences and understand the importance of the labor movement through both a critical framework and practice. It provides resources and connections to the University for unions and community organizations, 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 Center is excited to offer the internship in-person once again in 2022.

Training youth for the challenges ahead
The Labor Center carefully considers the needs and expectations of each host site organization based on their submitted applications. We develop a comprehensive five-day training to prepare students for the work they will be doing at their host organizations. Interns will learn:

  • the history of the labor movement and its intersections with other social justice movements;
  • current successes and challenges facing unions and social justice organizations;
  • current campaigns, presented by workers and community members;
  • “Organizing 101,” including one-on-one conversations, charting and mapping, and identifying leaders (“Learn Organizing Skills” track); and
  • conducting strategic corporate research and power mapping (“Research and Applied Policy” track).

Building organizational capacity
With the support of site supervisors, Labor Center staff, and mentors, Labor Summer interns enter their internship ready to learn and engage in their host organization’s projects and campaigns on their first day. Setting guidelines and expectations during orientation week allows our interns to best prepare for the pace and culture of each organization, and figure out how they can best participate in their sites during their seven- week placement. In the past, our “Learn Organizing Skills” interns have learned many strategies and tools for leadership development in the workplace or community. Our “Research and Applied Policy” interns have assisted research staff on long- and short-term projects that include industry and sectoral analyses, policy analysis, and research on regional and economic development.

Opportunities to recruit new talent
Unions also benefit from graduates of the program who constitute a highly-skilled, well-trained, and committed group of new talent. Over its 20-year history, the Labor Summer program has racked up an impressive record. It has trained and placed more than 300 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:

  • Recruits, screens, and selects the best interns based on your organizational needs. Interns come from universities such as UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC Santa Cruz, CSU Long Beach, CSU East Bay, and San Francisco State University.
  • Provides interns with an intensive week-long training, and three additional education and training days.
  • Supports host organizations with supervision guidelines and guidance on how to best use the intern’s skills.
  • Pairs interns with Labor Center staff or alumni of the program as mentors.

Requirements for host organizations

  • Host two or more interns.
  • Provide a clear project for interns including goals, objectives, and a timeline.
  • Assign a staff person to supervise the interns’ work, provide support and feedback, and be available to the intern.
  • Contribute funds up front for the intern’s stipend and training costs.
  • Have the ability to support an intern working remotely if needed.
  • Commit to release the interns to attend three education and training sessions at the Labor Center as well as the graduation ceremony on August 12.

Program cost
The program cost of $16,000 provides the hourly wages over 8 weeks for the high quality work of two student interns. Depending on your campaign or project requirements you can request an intern with undergraduate or graduate qualifications.

Interns will begin at their site placements on June 27, after they have completed their one-week orientation at the Labor Center.

Applications are due Friday, February 19, 2022.

If your union or community organization is interested in hosting, please email Kirsten at

"I could not have asked for a better intern. Not only did she arrive with a positive attitude that never faltered, but took on an ambitious set of projects and handled them amazingly well. She demonstrated a diverse skill set and impeccable flexibility that would make her very well-suited for this type of work. Extremely bright and thoughtful, she made the North Valley Labor Federation a better organization every day that she was here. I hope that her experience with our organization was as rewarding for her as it was for us to have her here."
- Labor Summer Host