The Nontraditional Employment for Women (NEW) program in New York City prepares women for careers in construction and related industries through an innovative training and placement program that guides low-income women toward a meaningful career and solid financial footing.
Neidi Dominguez came to the United States at the age of nine with her mother and younger sister. In 2008, she graduated with honors from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She has been an advocate and organizer for DREAMers and helped lead efforts to pass the federal DREAM Act. Recently, she served as a strategic campaign coordinator for the CLEAN Carwash Campaign.
The Culinary Academy of Las Vegas, a partnership among the Culinary Workers Union/UNITE HERE Local 226, Bartenders Union/UNITE HERE Local 165 and 26 properties on the Las Vegas Strip, teaches students everything they need to know to get a position with good wages and benefits in the hospitality industry. The vocational classes, which range from two weeks to three months, kick off with a half-day class, which teaches students interview techniques and how to be gainfully employed on the Strip. In addition to training 35,000 workers since its inception in 1993, it also serves nearly 900 hot meals daily to disadvantaged youth, seniors and veterans in the surrounding neighborhood. This video highlights how students trained in this program will find promising careers.
The partition that separates diners from the inner workings of the restaurant industry toppled for Saru Jayaraman shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Fekkak Mamdouh, one of the headwaiters of the restaurant housed on the top floor of the World Trade Center, approached Jayaraman seven months after the attacks. His former boss deemed him and his former crew “not experienced enough” to work in his new Times Square restaurant. Jayaraman, a 27-year-old organizer of immigrant women, took up the case to advocate for the displaced workers, organized protests and won—most of the workers were awarded the good jobs their former boss promised.
Children who grow up in homes with books, research shows, have much higher reading scores and go farther in the education system than others. But many children can’t get books at home because their families just don’t have the money or have other problems. The AFT partners with First Book to help reduce the achievement gap between low-income and middle-class students. First Book has distributed more than 90 million new books to children across the United States, many of whom could not afford them.
After years of organizing, Los Angeles carwash workers successfully negotiated contracts with three carwashes and gained workplace rights most workers should be able to take for granted: sick leave, access to health care, workplace safety, lunch breaks, living wages and respect. The carwash workers were successful, in large part, through the strength of community-labor partnerships.
In this video, Miguel, a carwash worker of 18 years, sees the power of community-labor partnerships in his experience organizing for workplace rights.