Host Interns

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Application deadline for Labor Summer HOST SITES is extended to February 23!

PLEASE NOTE: The research track of Labor Summer will not be held in 2024 – as a result, we will only have organizing track for Summer 2024.

Unions, worker centers and community organizations today are facing unprecedented challenges. Over its 22-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 2024.

Training students 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 basebuilding and one-on-one conversations, charting and mapping member development, and identifying leaders.

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 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 interns have gained many strategies and tools for leadership development in the workplace or community.

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 22-year history, the Labor Summer program has trained and placed more than 300 interns in jobs in the labor movement. Alumni of the program have gone on to become 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 various academic backgrounds at UC Berkeley and other institutions across California or beyond.
  • Provides interns with an intensive week-long training, and two additional education and training days and graduation.
  • 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.
  • Provide gas reimbursement for interns traveling to different worksites (not including travel to and from work at the beginning and end of the day)
  • Commit to release the interns to attend two education and training sessions at the Labor Center as well as the graduation ceremony on August 9th.

As organizations have varying COVID protocols, we ask that host sites make their interns aware of any such protocols ahead of their first day onsite.

Host Organizations:
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.

Program cost
The program cost of $17,000 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 24th, after they have completed their one-week orientation at the Labor Center.

Applications are due February 9th, 2024.

Apply to host interns at your organization!
"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