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Labor Education

Paul K. Rainsberger, JD, director
labored.missouri.edu


In 2012, the Labor Education Program offered 37 courses and conferences to meet the needs of 1,173 participants. The program works with members and leaders of a variety of workplace-based organizations across Missouri to help them develop skills to contribute to their organizations, to act effectively in the workplace, and to be informed and active participants in their communities.

The MU Extension Labor Education program works with members and leaders of a variety of workplace-based organizations across Missouri to help them develop skills to contribute to their organizations, to act effectively in the workplace, and to be informed and active participants in their communities. During an era of severe economic crisis and rapid changes in the labor market, the challenges of effective leadership are expanding dramatically. The research, curriculum development and teaching efforts of Labor Education program faculty aim to meet the immediate and emerging educational demands of leaders of complex organizations. In 2012, Labor Education offered 37 courses and conferences to meet the needs of 1,173 participants.

Economic instability in the United States poses a significant teaching and research challenge to Labor Education. As the labor market struggles to recover from the economic crisis, traditional educational goals of leadership and organizational development remain an important focal point of Labor Education programming. However, the need also is growing for strategic analysis of employment trends, labor market changes and the impact of public policy developments on organizational goals and leadership development. A major focus of Labor Education programming in 2012 involved the pressures imposed on economic security through significant changes in employee retirement and health benefit plans.

photo: Labor Education program

Paul K. Rainsberger, director and associate professor of the Labor Education Program spoke about employer-sponsored health insurance at the 2012 Impact of Federal Health Care Reform in Missouri Conference.

The program continued to disseminate Missouri-based research on the connection between public policy initiatives and their impact on the Missouri labor market. Public policy research presentations in eight locations across the state addressed issues such as the relationship between policy initiatives and employment trends, and public infrastructure investment trends.

For more than 10 years, Labor Education has worked with the joint apprenticeship and training programs of various unions and contractor associations in the construction industry. This effort is designed to develop and deliver craft-specific labor history and other classes for apprentices, as an important part of their job training and development. As a direct result of these programming initiatives, a Labor Education faculty member received a $52,000 contract to develop a labor history curriculum for inclusion in all apprentice programs of the International Union of Operating Engineers in the United States.

The program also continued its long-standing collaboration with the UMKC Department of Economics and UMSL Arts and Sciences Continuing Education to deliver the credit Labor Studies Certificate program.