Applications are now open for Union Summer 2023, paid internships promoting good jobs and social change
SEATTLE (March 15, 2023) — Each summer, the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO gives a diverse group of people a taste of what it’s like to promote good jobs and social change. Calling the experience “eye-opening” and “life-changing,” many participants have ended up launching careers in Washington’s union movement or with allied community organizations.
Union Summer is the paid ($20/hour) summer internship program where participants spend an exciting seven weeks — this year, from June 20 to Aug. 5 — getting hands-on experience making a difference in our communities. The program is divided into three main sections: education, actions, and on-the-job training. Weekly schedules can include attending rallies and staffing strike lines, registering voters, making job-site visits with union members, political field work, and more.
APPLY NOW! — Are you or anyone you know interested in working for social change? Applications are now open for Union Summer 2023! The deadline to apply is April 28. Participants will be working full-time with different campaigns based in and around Seattle, although the campaigns may take place throughout the region. Please download and post this flier about this year’s Union Summer opportunities.
WSLC Secretary Treasurer Cherika Carter has supervised the Union Summer program for the past several years in her former position as the council’s Political and Strategic Campaigns Director, and says it’s been a particularly gratifying project.
The 2022 Union Summer cohort with WSLC Secretary Treasurer Cherika Carter (far right).
“It’s been amazing to facilitate the Union Summer program and watch these inspiring interns make a difference in our communities,” Carter said. “I’m particularly proud and gratified that many of them have gone on to work with the WSLC’s affiliated unions as organizers or in other staff positions. Union Summer has proven to be an investment in the future of Washington’s union movement.”
Some have even come back to help run the Union Summer program for subsequent cohorts.
“I was a Union Summer intern in 2018 and it was such a life-changing experience for me that I was beyond grateful for the opportunity to contribute as 2022’s Program Coordinator,” said Raquel Binford, who is now a Political Organizer for the Coalition for Change. “Having a program like Union Summer is truly special. For many folks like me, it sets the foundation for the important relationships we make with leaders in labor. It was exciting to see last summer’s interns experience the same.”
Among the unions that sponsored and hosted Union Summer interns in 2022 were PROTEC17, Teamsters Joint Council 28, SEIU Healthcare 1199NW, Washington Federation of State Employees/AFSCME Council 28, Seattle Education Association, SEIU 775, and of course, the WSLC itself.
Union Summer 2022 interns meet Sen. Patty Murray at a primary election GOTV event.
Here’s what a typical Union Summer week could look like: