Steelworker Summer

What is Steelworker Summer?

Steelworker Summer is an educational and training placement program in which participants develop skills useful for union growth. They will experience firsthand the kinds of struggles workers face while trying to win a voice at work and in the community. They will gain a greater understanding and appreciation of the positive impact of unions on the lives of working people.

Steelworker Summer is a program for young adults who want direct experience working for social justice. Ideally, participants will remain active after Steelworker Summer by educating others about the value of the labour movement, possibly forming student/labour action coalitions, becoming union organizers or contributing in some other way to the labour movement.

Placements are open to young adults, 17 years of age or older, to a maximum of 25, as of July 1, 2022, who are children or grandchildren of members or retired members of the United Steelworkers (USW) and who are currently enrolled in an education program. This year in District 3, Steelworker Summer is based out of local unions that contribute to the Family and Education Fund (FCEF). As such, participations should live within reasonable commuting distance of their host local. All participants must be double vaccinated with a booster shot.

What will Steelworker Summer participants do?

Steelworker Summer is a full-time program. Participants of Steelworker Summer will be hosted by local unions that contribute to the FCEF and will be assigned to various projects in or near their home communities. Participants will work with USW members and staff to help workers in their fight for workplace and community justice. Activities may include research, communications, or working with USW staff on labour-endorsed campaigns. Depending on what types of campaigns are underway, participants may assist workers under attack, build labour-community alliances or pressure uncooperative employers.

What qualifications should applicants have?

Applicants should have a strong commitment to social and economic justice, and be open to working with a broad cross-section of people. This includes members of all equality-seeking groups, including women, immigrants, people with disabilities, LGBTQ2SIA+ people, Indigenous people and people of colour. Participants need to be people-oriented, enthusiastic, energetic and willing to work with a challenging and flexible schedule. A college degree is not required. Previous union experience is not necessary. Participants must be enrolled in an education institution. Previous volunteerism or activism is a plus. Participants must live within reasonable commuting distance of their host locals and be double vaccinated with a booster shot.

Do Steelworker Summer interns get paid?

Steelworker Summer is not a job but an educational placement. Participants will receive a stipend of $650 per week to cover meals and other incidental expenses. Taxes will be deducted from the stipend. All participants must arrange their own daily travel to and from work. If participants use their own vehicles for placement purposes other than travelling to and from work, expenses based on mileage will be covered.

How Are Participants Chosen?

Your parent, guardian or grandparent must belong to a USW local union. Selection is based on your involvement in community and school activities and your experience with social-justice issues. There are a limited number of placements available in communities where eligible local unions have set up Steelworker Summer projects.

Please provide the information listed below in full.

NOTE: Applications for Steelworker Summer should be submitted no later than July 1, 2022.