Southeast Michigan has long been on the forefront of labor and education. CLCS brings the whole movement into one room. 

The Center for Labor and Community Studies at University of Michigan - Dearborn enhances the broad array of leadership and engagement programs already taking place here by connecting the University of Michigan to working people in Michigan and beyond. CLCS started as the Labor Studies Center in 1957. With nearly 70 years of experience in unionism, labor relations, and workers rights, we're dedicated to education, research, and programming that empowers Michiganders to keep pace with the changing global economy by making our rights accessible. 



CLCS offers six yearly conferences, most of which run from a Thursday through Saturday. Our conferences offer a variety of weekend-long workshops, keynote speakers who are leaders in the communities they represent, and opportunities for networking. All our conferences are eligible for TAP.


Symposiums are free, two-hour courses offered throughout the year on a wide variety of topics, including things beyond the realm of workers rights. They are offered via Zoom and they are also recorded and archived so you can learn even if you miss the event.


Short courses meet once a week for six weeks, with each class being 2-3 hours depending on your course. These courses are a great way to get in-depth knowledge on a specific topic. They're usually taught in-person or hybrid with a limited number of slots, so make sure to register. Short courses are eligible for TAP.


CLCS is happy to provide in-office trainings on many topics. To schedule a training, please email clcs.info@umich.edu.


The Organizer Network is a community of and for union organizers. The network provides support, educational opportunities, and a peer network for those building the labor movement through external and internal campaigns. 

The Organizer Network is open to union staff and workers who are engaging others to form unions for the first time, or to strengthen existing unions covered by a collective bargaining agreement.


UPCOMING: Black Men in Unions Institute

February 8-11, 2024

The Black Men in Unions Institute invites all workers, union or non-union, and activists from allied organizations to share ideas and grow skills for responding to the challenges facing working people. In this conference, we pay special attention to bringing in black leaders to teach and cultivate the next generation of leadership. We welcome participants from all cultural or ethnic backgrounds and gender identities.  

Fall Leadership 


November 16-18, 2023

Black Men in Unions 


February 8-11, 2024

Michigan School of Women Workers (50th)

April 18-20, 2024

Young Workers 


June 6-8, 2024

Workers Pride 


TBD - October 2024

Latina/o Worker Leadership Institute

TBD - September 2024


UPCOMING: Union Organizing & the Law

Saturday, September 16, 2023 @ 10AM-12PM EST

Labor organizations scored several legal victories this year, especially regarding the rights to organize new unions. Join the University of Michigan-Dearborn’s Center for Labor and Community Studies for an expert panel discussion about recent National Labor Relations Board decisions and how they can be best implemented. This symposium includes presentations from the panelists followed by a Q&A portion for attendees.

The State of Education: the Impact of New Legislation

Financial Planning for Workers

Getting Workers Comp (& Avoiding Litigation)


UPCOMING MEETING: January 13, 2024

Calling all labor organizers and activists! Do you want to meet other labor activist and union organizers, learn tricks of the trade, and brainstorm new and improved organizing strategies? Come to the Organizer Network meeting on November 11. The Network is meant for both new and seasoned organizers, so don't be shy. We'd love to have you!


UPCOMING: 2024 Short Courses


We hold 6-week short courses 2-3 times per year. Currently, several short courses are planned for 2024. Check back periodically or subscribe to our mailing list to know when our short courses are announced.