National Labor College
||This article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2011)|
|National Labor College|
|Type||Private coeducational labor college|
|President||Paula Peinovich, PhD|
|Academic staff||15 full time|
|Location||Silver Spring, Maryland, USA|
|Campus||Suburban, 47 acres|
The National Labor College is the only accredited higher education institution in the United States devoted exclusively to educating union members, leaders, and staff. It was established as a training center by the AFL-CIO in 1969 to strengthen union member education and organizing skills. The NLC became a degree-granting college in 1997 and in March 2004 gained accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Since its founding, more than 200,000 union officers and members have taken one or more of its courses; over 1,100 B.A. degrees in labor studies have been granted.
The College announced its intention to sell its campus in 2012, and continue its work as an online program only.
The Workers' Education Bureau of America originally existed as an independent organization to promote labor colleges and other worker trainings. The organization later became part of the AFL as the Education Department. In turn, the George Meany Center for Labor Studies replaced the Education Department in 1969, with an undergraduate program initially sponsored in conjunction with Antioch College.
On November 6, 1974, AFL-CIO President George Meany dedicated the current facility located on the former campus of Xaverian College. The property was purchased from the Xaverian Brothers by the AFL-CIO for $2.5 million in 1971. At the dedication, Mr. Meany remarked that the purpose of the institution was to help union officials "make a better contribution to our people and to our nation." The program became an independent undergraduate institution and was named the National Labor College in 1999, and by 2004 had become fully accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, and the Meany Center officially renamed the National Labor College (George Meany Campus).
In the fall of 2006 the new Lane Kirkland Center opened on the National Labor College campus, to provide upgraded facilities, and to greatly expand the College's hosting capabilities. The College hopes to promote the Kirkland Center as "America's union hall". However, the Center is included in the planned sale of the campus in 2012.
The National Labor College published Labor's Heritage, a scholarly journal of labor history, until 2002.
In 2009, the College entered into a partnership with Penn Foster Education, a career college subsidiary of the Princeton Review. in order to develop a distance education program. The program was ended by the college in November, 2011, because of the slow growth of the program and the financial difficulties of the Princeton Review. The college intends to use the facilities developed under this program to build its own program of distance education. The loses from the joint program are in part responsible for the decision to close the college's campus and function in online education only.
The undergraduate programs of the National Labor College are designed to serve as finishing programs, primarily for those who have already had two years or more of college, or the equivalent of an Associate's degree.
The Bachelor of Arts in Labor Studies programs are conducted in partnership with many individual unions, many of which – particularly in the building trades – have their own apprenticeship programs which are recognized as conferring the equivalent of an Associate's degree. The National Labor College is also home to several HAZMAT and related training programs sponsored by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS).
The National Labor College offers three completely online degree programs: a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration, a Bachelor of Arts in Construction Management, and a Bachelor of Science in Emergency Readiness and Response Management. These three programs are offered through the National Labor College's School of Professional Studies.
With a 47-acre (190,000 m2) campus located in Silver Spring, Maryland, a new 72,000-square-foot (6,700 m2) state- of-the-art academic and conference center, and hotel quality residence halls, the College provided classroom, meeting spaces and dining services. With the sale of the campus in 2012, the college offices will be relocated to an office in the Washington DC area and have an online presence only.
George Meany Memorial Archives
The college is home to the George Meany Memorial Archives, the official and acting archives of the AFL-CIO, established in 1987 and also housing the AFL-CIO Library since 1993. The Archives include the papers of numerous labor leaders, the official records of all AFL-CIO proceedings since the founding of the AFL in the 1880s, the archives of numerous union and federation publications, and the records of the departments of the AFL-CIO. The Archives contains extensive correspondence relating to past AFL-CIO international activities the Cold War which remain classified by most national governments.
With the closure of the College campus, the archives are being returned to the AFL-CIO, which is reportedly considering options for their preservation.
National Workers Memorial
The National Workers Memorial, dedicated on April 28, 2010, was erected on the college's campus to honor the memory of workers killed or fatally injured on the job, or in service to the labor movement. After the sale of the campus, the college intends to relocate the memorial to an appropriate location.
- "About the NLC". National Labor College. Retrieved April 25, 2012.
- "Key Labor Archive May Be Inaccessible After Labor College Sells Campus" Chronicle of Higher Education April 16, 2012 
- "AFL-CIO Labor Study Center Dedicated in Silver Spring," by J.Y. Smith, The Washington Post, Nov 7, 1974, pg. C14.
- Goldie Blumenstyk, "National Labor College Ends Joint Venture With For-Profit Partner" Chronicle of Higher Education 
- Michael Laris (April 28, 2010). "National Workers Memorial to be dedicated in Silver Spring". The Washington Post.