Leadership Scholarship Program

leader1The Leadership Scholarship Program is coordinated by the staff of the Department of Education and Membership Development, and works with other USW departments, staff representatives, and rank and file activists.  They are dedicated activists who use education to empower and mobilize USW members.

The global economy’s ruthless demand for profits requires union leaders who can create a better future for workers.  The USW’s Leadership Scholarship Program is designed to develop the skills of local union members for this precise objective.  Established by the International Executive Board in 1997, this program combines ideas with action to build the leaders, vision, power, and solidarity that will stop the corporate-driven race to the bottom. 

leader2Over a four year period, participants attend four week-long training sessions in which they learn with and from fellow USW members.  The intense training challenges participants to expand their strategic planning and leadership abilities, and learn to effectively communicate with the community and media.  Heavy emphasis is placed on a collaborative learning atmosphere which helps leaders define and obtain goals.

District Directors nominate activists to the program who demonstrate commitment and service to the USW.  Each District is allotted a specific number of participants to nominate to the program on a per capita basis.  Each participant is awarded a stipend, plus room, board, and travel expenses.

The latest changes and challenges which confront union leadership are discussed, along with issues of importance to the survival of the labor movement as a voice for working people, as well as ways of improving our techniques to meet these crucial challenges.

Leadership Scholarship Program Highlights

 Level 1 - Building the Local Union

  • Building Solidarity in the Workplace 
  • Analyzing Labor’s Challenges
  • Economics for Workers
  • Learning from Labor History
  • Public Speaking

 Level 2 - Leadership and Strategy

  • Mobilizing the Members
  • Leading Volunteers
  • Recruiting New Activists
  • Strategic Planning for Power
  • Getting the Word Out: Using New Media

 Level 3 - Leading the Fight

  • The Collective Bargaining Process
  • Conducting Strategic Campaigns
  • Costing a Contract
  • Researching Your Employer
  • Building Power at the Workplace

 Level 4 - Taking Action to Shape the Future

  • Planning for Action
  • Messaging and Mobilization
  • Arbitration
  • Handling Grievances
  • Train-the-Trainer: Teaching and Facilitating

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