Since its foundation, the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies has sought opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students to work with the labor community and contribute to the research initiatives of Labor Studies faculty. In 1999, the University Provost's Office awarded the Center a two-year "Tools for Transformation" grant to expand its program in service and research-based learning, and extend this work to the UW-Bothell and UW-Tacoma campuses (read the Tools Report). The goal of this ambitious program was to build a partnership between the University and the labor community in order to enhance the educational and research work of the University, while also helping the labor movement in its struggle for a more just society.
At UW, there are two levels of service learning in which students can become involved:
As part of a more traditional class, usually Introduction to Labor Studies, students work between two and four hours each week with a labor or social justice organization, in lieu of a paper or other assignment. Typically between one-third and one-half of the students in the class choose this option. The Center also makes labor service learning opportunities available to students in other appropriate courses. For more information on the University’s larger program in Service Learning, visit the website of the Carlson Center.
Internships arranged through the Bridges Center allow students to work with labor and social justice organizations completely outside of the classroom context. Some internships offer stipends, and many can lead to careers in the labor movement. For more information see the Bridges Center's internship page.