Make it a Labor Summer: Summer 2022 Opportunities for Labor Studies Students

By UCLA Labor Studies Program

It’s never too early to begin planning your summer! As students in the UCLA Labor Studies interdepartmental program analyze current workplace issues through their coursework, they are also encouraged to explore internship and fellowship opportunities to engage with professionals, community activists and the public to gain critical perspectives beyond the classroom. 

Below, we’ve compiled a list of summer opportunities at UCLA and beyond related to the fields of applied research, worker organizing, leadership and professional development, occupational safety and health and more.

1. UCLA Labor Summer Research Program

The UCLA Labor Summer Research Program (LSRP) hosted through the UCLA Labor Studies program, engages students in applied research focused on the social, economic and political context and experiences of “workers and learners,” or those who work and attend college, in Los Angeles County. LSRP student researchers will investigate how working students navigate barriers and opportunities in fulfilling their career and other goals, as well as assessing intersections and costs of working while attending school. 

UCLA Labor Summer Research Program 2019 / IRLE

LSRP student researchers will contribute to a UCLA Labor Center study that examine timely issues for working students, such as Back to the “New Normal”: Workers and Learners Navigate Campus and Workplace Reopening in 2021, which addresses concerns and expectations for return to campus and work amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This year, the LSRP will be taught in-person at the UCLA campus. This program fulfills the UCLA Labor Studies Major Capstone Requirement and is open to all UC and non-UC undergraduates and graduates. For more information and to apply, click here. Application priority deadline is March 31, 2022 for UCLA students applying for Summer Financial Aid.

2. UC Berkeley Labor Summer Internship Program 

The UC Berkeley Labor Summer Internship Program is a full-time, paid, eight-week internship designed to develop future labor and community leaders. The program, coordinated by the UC Berkeley Labor Center and sponsored by the San Francisco Labor Council, gives students the opportunity to apply skills in real-world settings on issues affecting California’s working people. 

Placed in either an organizing or research track, interns are assigned to work with a union or community-based organization where they will learn about how campaigns work and gain experience that will support their success in labor-related careers. 

The UC Berkeley Labor Summer Internship Program is open to undergraduate and graduate students. For more information and to apply, click here. Application deadline is February 23, 2022.

3. CARE at Work’s Freedom Fellowship 

The Center for the Advancement of Racial Equity at Work (CARE at Work) engages economic justice advocates to address the needs of Black workers related to the COVID-19 health crisis, economic disparities and anti-Black racism and violence. Established through a partnership between the UCLA Labor Center and Los Angeles Black Worker Center, CARE at Work aims to create a “School to Movement Pathway,” which offers courses and a Freedom Fellowship for Black students to study and develop in careers related to Black economic justice. 

CARE at Work’s Freedom Fellowship is a 10-week experiential opportunity for students to work with activist and community organizers involved in the movement for civic and economic justice for Black Workers. Students will support Black Worker Centers across California with regional projects, policy solutions and research studies. 

To read about a Freedom Fellow’s experience at the Los Angeles Black Workers Center (LABWC), click here. To learn more about CARE at Work’s course offerings and summer fellowship, RSVP to their open house on February 10, 2022 at 6 p.m. PT

Dream Summer 2018 / IRLE

4. Dream Summer Fellowship 

Dream Summer Fellowship aims to empower immigrant youth and allies to become leaders through professional development, movement building and hands-on experience with social justice organizations. Hosted through UCLA’s Dream Resource Center, a project team of the UCLA Labor Center, provides emerging leaders a space to create impactful social, policy and narrative change, Dream Summer has partnered with over 265 social justice organizations across the country. 

Dream Summer fellows receive a $5,000 fellowship award, leadership and professional development training and become part of the DREAM Summer alumni network of over 800 immigrant rights leaders.

The fellowship is open to all immigrant youth, regardless of immigration status. Applicants do not need to be students at UCLA or any college to qualify for the fellowship. For more information and to apply, click here. Application deadline is February 11, 2022 at 12:00 p.m PT.

5. Occupational Health Internship Program (OHIP)

Occupational Health Internship Program (OHIP) is a paid summer internship opportunity for students interested in learning about the field of occupational safety and health. Interns work with a union or worker organization and gain hands-on experience to address needs of workers employed in under-served or high hazard jobs. 

Moreover, the program is designed to build connections between workers and interns so that students can gain an understanding of the importance of health and safety at work. Interns will have the opportunity to conduct research and focus groups, attend union or worker organization meetings and observe workers on the job. 

This internship is open to all undergraduate and graduate students. For more information and to apply, click here. Application deadline is February 11, 2022

6. Union Scholars Program 

The Union Scholars Program is an eight-week summer internship program that exposes students to real-world organizing experience. Created as a partnership between AFSCME, one of the nation’s largest labor unions, and Harvard University’s Labor and Worklife Program, the program allows students to take part in organizing conversations and actions with workers about improving workplace conditions. 

The internship provides a stipend of over $4000 and paid housing and travel expenses. Upon completion of the program, students can receive up to a $6000 scholarship for future academic expenses. 

Union Scholars Program invites undergraduate students of color who are currently sophomores or juniors to apply. For more information and to apply, visit here. Application deadline is February 28, 2022