Trainings and Workshops

Customized Trainings 
Looking for something tailored to meet the needs of your organization? The LABOR School offers customized education programs for local unions, labor councils, and other labor organizations on a variety of subjects. We customize the content and design to meet your organization’s desired outcomes for the program. We travel to your location and can work with your staff to deliver training together. We’ve done everything from labor history presentations to a multi-day training program for a growing local union.

Upcoming Programs

New! Self-Paced Online Course

Economic Crisis for Workers: What's Next After COVID-19?

Date: You can access the course starting on October 1, and you will be able to complete the course at your own pace until October 31.

Fee: $35 per participant

Register here.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the economic challenges working people have been facing for decades. What may be less clear is that the pandemic has fueled already extreme inequality on a scale not seen since the Great Depression. The way we emerge from this crisis will impact workers long into the future. The LABOR School is launching a new course that will address the following questions: 

  • How did we end up with an economy that produces such inequality and hardships for working people? 
  • Can the recovery from COVID-19 be a critical period for changing the rules of our economy to help working people rather than corporate elites?   
  • What role can unions play in changing the rules and outcomes of our economy?

This online course explores these questions with a focus on workers’ experiences in the economy, the rules that shape economic outcomes, and the strategies used by corporate elites to deepen inequality.

This is an interactive, self-paced online course. It includes activities, videos, readings, and discussion boards, where you can exchange ideas with a cohort of other labor activists from across Pennsylvania.

Union Staff Development: A Skills and Learning Cohort Program

This in-depth training program from the LABOR School at Penn State will provide your union staff with support and development to succeed in the vital, dynamic, and challenging work they do.

Our program is designed for newer union staff in any role. It is intended to supplement union onboarding and training specific to your organization while covering broad themes and skills essential for union staff. In the program, participants will assess current challenges and opportunities for the labor movement, build personal leadership and communication skills, and support one another in their current work challenges.

For more information, click here.

Begins: November 3, 2021, in State College, Pennsylvania

Fee: $1,250

Register here.

Previous Webinars 

If you wish to view any of the previous webinars, please email us at

7/9/2020 - Pennsylvania at the Crossroads: Building a Workers' Agenda During COVID-19

Jointly sponsored by the LABOR School and the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO, the first-ever Pennsylvania Labor Forum featured two panels and a discussion addressing the following questions: What are the economic challenges facing our state budget and the public services we rely on? How are workers organizing for more power during the pandemic? How we can use this crisis to advance a bold agenda for working people?


  • Rick Bloomingdale - President, Pennsylvania AFL-CIO
  • Nina Esposito-Visgitis - President, Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers
  • Dave Fillman - Executive Director, AFSCME Council 13
  • Lisa Frank - Executive Vice-President, SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania
  • Nicole Fuller - Executive Director, PhilaPOSH
  • Sam Jones - Director of ROC Pennsylvania, Restaurant Opportunities Center
  • Kadida Kenner - Director of Campaigns, Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center
  • Reesa Kossoff - Executive Director, SEIU State Council
  • Leonard Purnell - Director of Field Operations, UFCW 1776KS
  • Frank Snyder - Secretary-Treasurer, Pennsylvania AFL-CIO
  • Maria Somma - Organizing Director, United Steelworkers
  • Matt Trzaska - Organizing Director, IUPAT DC21 

Online Member Engagement and Union Advocacy: Examples Across Pennsylvania

5/7/2020 – Lessons and Strategies for Online Engagement: How the Labor Movement is Innovating and Adapting

In this moment of heightened attention to technological tools for communication and connection, there is a need to translate many in-person interactions into digital spaces. For labor organizations, this is particularly relevant as they seek ways to support and educate workers, build new relationships and alliances, and conduct the business of our organizations.

In this webinar, we will hear from labor activists and leaders to learn about how organizations are using existing and new digital tools to engage with members, potential members, and the public. We will focus on best practices and lessons learned to expand and adapt our work in the online sphere, both in the current context and beyond.

3/30/2020 – Young Workers and Unions: Uniting Across Generational Differences

There are now five generations of workers in our workplaces and unions. This webinar will highlight current initiatives unions are taking to develop and conduct young worker programs, review new research on best practices in building intergenerational cooperation in our unions, as well as discuss strategies and steps to build participation across all generations of workers. Panelists will include representatives from United Steelworkers, IBEW Local 375, and IATSE Local 8.  

3/26/2020 – Workers on the Front Lines of COVID-19: What Can We Learn and Do

Hear from union members and union staff who are working in essential services - like healthcare, food and grocery services, and transportation - to provide for our communities in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Union members will share accomplishments, efforts, and current challenges across industries and regions of Pennsylvania. We will focus on how all workers can provide support and help promote safe and secure workplaces.

7/25/2019 – Effective Union Orientations Webinar:  Strategies for Follow-Up Outreach to New Hires

This webinar will focus on strategies unions are pursuing to engage in proactive outreach to union members after they are newly hired and after an initial union orientation.  Research and experience show that individuals are more likely to be committed and active union members if they both have a positive initial orientation to the union and if they get additional follow-up information, communication, and connections with other union members.  The webinar will include a panel of organizers from unions working on systematic follow-up outreach to newly hired union employees. It will also include a short review of research findings and a chance for all participants to ask questions and share their experiences.

6/25/2019 – Union Orientation:  Best Practices for “First Day” Union Orientation Sessions

This webinar will focus on best practices for union orientations that happen on or near the first day of someone being hired into a union position.  Union orientation has been a key part of educating new workers about unions and membership sign-up.  JANUS and other attacks in both the private and public sectors have put a renewed emphasis on the critical importance of an effective union orientation system.  The webinar will include a panel of union organizers leading orientations, a chance for all participants to ask questions and share, and an overall review of best practices from research and experience for union orientation sessions.

If you have questions or need assistance, please email .