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

Racial Justice Film Series

In honor of Black history month, The LABOR School at Penn State will be hosting another session of the Racial Justice Film series to help center issues of racial inequity and justice for labor activists and our organizations. We will view films that highlight themes of systemic racism and the connections to economic issues, the labor movement, and our entire political system. Immediately after the film, participants will be invited to engage with one another through facilitated small group discussions.

Dates: Wednesday, February 24, 6 p.m.: 13th 

           Wednesday, March 24, 6 p.m.: The Hate U Give

To register for one or both films, click here.

You may have learned that the 13th amendment abolished slavery in the United States, but did you learn about the exception that currently allows slavery and involuntary servitude to continue? Did you learn how this amendment was strategically used to criminalize Black people? Or how it gave rise to the creation of a system that public and private businesses have come to rely on for-profit and free and reduced labor? Come learn with us as we explore the historical and current impact of the 13th amendment in the documentary, 13th, written and directed by Ava DuVernay. View the trailer and learn more:

Tupac Shakur used the tattoo on his stomach, T.H.U.G. Life, as social commentary to remind society that their perception of him as a thug was reflective of the system that created it. For Tupac, T.H.U.G. was an acronym that stood for The Hate U Give. In 2017, author Angie Thomas put pen to paper to tell a story about the impact of that hate through the eyes of a teenager, Starr Carter, in her young adult novel, The Hate You Give. Later adapted to film, The Hate U Give takes us on a journey through Starr’s experience as a teenager navigating life in a system that didn’t allow redemption for her father, that required her to code-switch as she lived in one community and attended prep school in another, and that forced her to reckon with the trauma of witnessing the death of a childhood friend at the hands of police. The Hate U Give delivers powerful lessons that we can all learn from, but perhaps most importantly, why systemic racism needs to be dismantled. View the trailer and learn more:

Worker Power and the Law, Part 2: The Road Ahead

In the second installment of The LABOR School's Worker Power and the Law series, participants will consider the structure and function of American labor law, how law and policy is likely to shift under the new administration, and what this means practically for workers, our unions, and the labor movement. Panelists and speakers will share their experiences and perspectives in navigating federal and state laws, the respective labor boards, and the courts, and how we can seize on this moment to educate the public and reform our labor and employment laws.

Panelists and Speakers:

Lauren M. Hoye, Esquire, Willig, Williams and Davidson

Brandon Magner, Esquire, Labor Attorney

Mariana Padias, Esquire, Assistant Director of Organizing, United Steel Workers

Jim Williams Jr., Vice President at Large, IUPAT

Paul Clark, Director of the School of Labor and Employment Relations at Penn State, will serve as moderator.

: Thursday, March 18  from 4:00-5:30 p.m. via Zoom

Register here for this free event! 

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 to 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 your 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 on in both the private and public sector 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 .