The Labor Resource Center (LRC) is located within the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Massachusetts Boston. We engage in education and research that helps to understand the big issues facing working people today – growing inequality, low wages, discrimination, legal and political challenges, and many others – while providing students, workers, and communities with the practical and analytical skills necessary for advancing economic and social justice. The Center's work is carried out in two broad areas:
Education: Labor-centered education helps us to not only critically understand the world of work and workers, but to build writing, research, analytic, and organizational skills. We concentrate our educational efforts in three programs:
- Undergraduate Major (B.A) and Minor in Labor Studies
- Professional Certificate in Labor Leadership for emerging labor leaders.
- Labor Extension Program provides community-based worker education.
Research: The Center’s research includes applied-participatory work, which involves collaborating with labor and community organizations, as well as academic research that explores the past, present and future of work, working-class experience, and labor organizing. Students regularly work with faculty and staff on various projects involving:
- Low-wage employment
- Women in the construction trades
- Wage theft
- Building solidarity locally and internationally
Many of our initiatives, including our role in the Policy Group for Tradeswomen Issues, combines education and research into a single project.
The LRC has a long and distinguished history of contributions to the labor movement and the university. In 2010, we graduated our 150th student from the Labor Studies bachelor's degree program. From nationally renowned contributions to labor history to the regional impact of the "Labor at the Crossroads" series in the 1990's to action research for policy change on the issues of working families and economic development, the LRC has been on the frontlines for almost 30 years