Labor Summer Program

speaker with microphone at labor summer in front of banner with labor summer text and graphic

The Labor Summer program, hosted by the Center for Labor and Community at the University of California, Santa Cruz, is an eight-week, full-time (40 hours/wk) internship that brings together student leaders and unions who share a vision for building worker power, advancing social justice, and expanding labor rights along the Central Coast. 

At the start of spring quarter (April 2024), 10 interns will be selected and matched with a labor union for a summer internship. Over the course of eight-weeks, these students will work with their host sites on organizing drives, contract campaigns, and issue fights. Interns will also attend three workshops’ with the Center for Labor and Community to learn about injustices facing working people in the region. Each host site will be paired with two interns. 

All Labor Summer interns are paid a $6,400 summer stipend by UCSC to participate in the program. Interns also will receive leadership and professional development training and a certificate of completion at the end of the summer. Labor Summer will run from June 17 to August 9, 2024. All interns will participate in a weeklong orientation at UC Santa Cruz and will begin their site placements on Monday June 24, 2024.

Who should apply?

Have you ever organized a meeting? Researched an issue? Volunteered in your community? Taught a class? Do you have the willingness to knock on a door and listen to someone’s story? Can you imagine a better future for working families? Are you graduating and searching for a full-time job after graduation? If your answer to any of these questions is “yes” or if you want to learn how to do these things, then Labor Summer is for you!

Requirements to participate in Labor Summer

  • Interest in working on social and economic justice issues with unions or community-based organizations
  • Ability to work with diverse communities
  • Applicants must be available for the entire length of the internship to be eligibleApplicants must be undergraduate, or graduate students, and must be enrolled at a college or university in California. Please note we prioritize graduating seniors and graduate students.
  • Since this is a full-time internship, interns are not permitted to take summer classes. Some placements will require proficiency in a specific language, such as Spanish.

Applications are due March 15th, 2024. Please email Labor Summer Program coordinator, Sarah Mason at if you have any questions or want more information. 


All students will receive a $6,400 summer stipend for participating.

Internship modality

All internships are scheduled to be in-person for the full eight weeks.

Equipment provided for internship placement

Labor Summer fellows are NOT provided with any equipment such as a laptop or mobile phone from the UCSC Center for Labor and Community. 

Time commitments for interns with host organizations

Interns will commit to working 40 hours per week with their host organizations. Additionally, all interns will be entitled to request days off from their placements for any personal needs or sick leave. 

Cost of relocation of Labor Summer interns

Labor Summer does not cover any relocation costs for interns. 

Labor Summer mentors

Labor Summer mentors are UCSC Center for Labor and community staff and community members that support interns throughout the duration of their placements. Mentors have biweekly check-ins with their assigned mentees to support their professional development. 

Labor Summer retreats

The opening retreat for Labor Summer serves as an orientation for all fellows. Some topics that are covered include: organizing basics, race and labor, and a cursory overview of regional labor struggles. The closing retreat allows fellows to reflect on their experience in Labor Summer. Both Labor Summer’s opening and closing retreat are set to take place in-person. With the ongoing uncertainty of COVID-19 and its different variants, please note, this is subject to change.

Organization Participation

We are seeking to partner with unions and worker organizations that address the range of issues facing working people today. We are especially interested in campaigns relating to migrant justice, housing, healthcare, environmental justice, mass incarceration, and other social justice-related issues. All stipends for Labor Summer are paid by the UCSC Center for Labor and Community.

General responsibilities of a host organization

  • Host interns at the organization from June 17 to August 9, 2024. 
  • Provide an organizational orientation to ensure the fellows’ successful transition into the organization. Please ensure your team is aware of Labor Summer interns’ participation in your organization, and communicate with your interns about orientations and first-day logistics prior to their first day of work. 
  • Develop a workplan with clear roles, responsibilities, activities, and expected deadlines. 
  • Submit a work plan to UCSC Center for Labor and Community staff so we can review the work plan with the interns. 
  • Maintain consistent communication with interns. 
  • Maintain communication with UCSC Center for Labor and Community staff as needed. 
  • Be responsible for the day-to-day supervision of interns. 
  • Recommended weekly check-ins with interns to ensure progress on their work plan, as well as discuss overall experience and other items. 
  • Provide mentorship, leadership, and/or professional development opportunities.
  • Submit a post-internship evaluation of Labor Summer to provide feedback to our staff and strengthen the program.

Labor Summer 2024 host organization timeline 

March 15th, 2024 Host organization applications due at 5:00 PM PST.
April 2024 Host organizations are notified of selection.
Early May Intern placement at host organization confirmed.
June 15th, 2024 Host organizations submit work plan for fellow(s).
June 19-June 21 Retreat for interns hosted at UC Santa Cruz
June 24, 2024 First day of work for fellows at their host organizations.
August 8, 2024 Last day of work for fellows at their host organizations.
August 9, 2024Graduation

If you are interested in becoming a host site for UCSC Labor Summer 2024 please email Sarah Mason at

More Information

Learn more about the most recent Labor Summer program experience by checking out the UCSC Magazine “Hot Labor Summer” article.

Last modified: Apr 09, 2024