The Labor School

The Labor School has been educating union leaders, workers, and community allies for over 50 years. It understands the importance of making the opportunity to learn and develop skills and knowledge available to workers, union officers, and others in the labor movement. An outgrowth of the Institute for Labor and Industrial Relations established in 1960, and subsequently the Center for Labor Studies, the Labor School was established with the purpose of helping workers understand their roles in society as activists, leaders, and citizens. Course curricula centered around the topics of collective bargaining, union leadership, economics, labor history, politics, sociology, communication, and writing. 

An important part of Labor@Wayne, the Labor School has taught more than 4,000 workers in non-credit courses since 1965. Initially called the Workers’ Basic Study Program, the Labor School established its two-year certificate program in 1966 and the first Labor School students graduated in 1967. The Labor School offers online non-credit courses leading to both basic and advanced certificates for workers seeking to develop and improve communication, organizing, and leadership skills to adapt to the changing work environment. Requirements are to complete ten courses over two years or, at an accelerated pace (two courses per week), in one year. Each course lasts approximately five weeks. Each weekly session of classes opens at noon on Monday. Students have a one-week window, working at their own pace, in which to complete the weekly assignments. Students will have access to their interactive classes, lectures, videos, and classmate discussions 24 hours a day. Courses will provide them with the flexibility to work on assignments, learn from instructors, and engage with classmates for various unions and occupations around the country. Upon completion of the required 10 courses, students will receive a certificate from the Labor School.


View our Labor School course offerings for 2023-2024

View our Labor School Instructors


The WISE Conference 2023 

In addition to our online offerings, we offer in-person courses in a compressed schedule.  The 2023 WISE Conference was held April 20-23, 2023.  Follow the link above to explore the format for this conference.


Customized Training

Trainings on a variety of topics may also be arranged for on-site training events.


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