Stunning in its impact on participants and I can say without qualification that it might be the very best workshop I have attended in my professional career. The content was extremely relevant, dynamically interactive, and generated epiphanies concerning class and caste.
Harmon Lisnow, Executive Director
Career Development Institute, Indiana
Leading national voice for worker education
The instructional quality of these courses has been exceptional. These courses have received our best-ever reviews. Even employees who are not normally enthusiastic are giving rave evaluations. I'm grateful that the program has taken care to outreach to those who need these courses the most (and who many times do not participate in training). These are not typical training courses, instead they meet our every need.
Employment & Compensation Manager
Human Resources, Mount Holyoke College
This project is tremendous. Stand around a water bubbler nowadays and you hear workers talking about the great course they just took, or the Dell computer they just bought. I'm swamped with emails from workers (who never had been on the Internet before this program) telling me how wonderful the classes are.
Jay Lucey, President,
SEIU Local 262, Smith College
I believe that this course [Fireside Chats] made me a better leader and a better human being.
The UMass joint-based worker education program has been a model for successful workplace education since its inception in 1987. Its worker-driven programming and participatory education methods have enhanced both job performance and job satisfaction for workers at the university and for workers throughout western Massachusetts.
Judy Hikes, former statewide Coordinator of the
Workplace Education Initiative, a partnership between the
Executive Office of Labor, Executive Office of Economic Affairs, Department of Education, and the Commonwealth Literacy Campaign
For 20 years now, and with great success, LMWEP has explored and implemented highly innovative practices to engage and support the educational and personal growth of adult learners. These practices, ranging from ABE and creative writing to understanding the detrimental impact of classism to a worker-run weekly radio on issues of social justice, continue to inform and inspire the larger world of worker education. LMWEP allows me and countless others to hear worker voices, read worker writings, and to see worker art.
former Executive Director of the Association of Joint Labor/Management Educational Programs, New York City
If the UMASS Workplace Education Program is involved, we know the instruction will be high quality, innovative, and effective. Our experience is that LMWEP knows how to connect with learners---knows how to make education in the workplace both enjoyable and meaningful. They are tops.
Patricia H. Crosby, Executive Director
Franklin Hampshire Regional Employment Board
We felt privileged to spend the day visiting UMass Amherst's Labor/Management Workplace Education Program. We were impressed with how the program has grown and developed in response to workers' needs, the richness of the courses offered and the high level of energy and enthusiasm for the program displayed by participants, union partners, management and
Carol Kolenik, Director, and John Antonellis, Lead Instructor,
The Bridge to Learning and Literacy Program
One thing this country has is hope; in other countries there is little hope. LMWEP is our hope on the UMass campus.
Francis Martin, Jr., President
AFSCME Local 1776
Many staff from Housing and Residence Life have participated in classes through Labor/Management Workplace Education. They get rave reviews and are appreciated by employees. The idea for a worker radio program came from a Maintainer and for many years, worker's voices have been heard through these interviews. I'm privileged to be on the Advisory Board and grateful to be of assistance in support of this amazing program.
Julie Nelson, Personnel Coordinator
UMASS Housing and Residence Life
The radio show is another way for lower-paid workers to feel that they are part of the University community.
Representative Ellen Story
I am pleased that this important program will focus on higher education as a major employer and economic engine in our region. The investment in building the skills of frontline workers in higher education will benefit the employees, the institutions, and our western Massachusetts economy for years to come.
Representative Steve Kulik
I can not thank everyone involved with the training grant enough. Personally I was able to move up to a supervisory position and open a whole new world of possibilities. My participation in the pre-supervisory course offered led me to me believe I had the skills necessary to advance but also confirmed that it was a step I not only wanted to take but needed to take professionally. I absolutely love my new job and am considering going back to school and finishing my degree! Had it not been for the Baystate Works Program I never would have made the move.... I hope the funding continues so that others may be afforded the opportunity to find their hidden potentials.
Arthur T. Usher, Building Services Supervisor
The classes from UMass have been tremendous. We’ve had wonderful teachers who have helped our workers gain confidence in themselves and skills that benefit them at home and work. Many of our employees entered the English classes with minimal conversational abilities but now can comfortably converse with supervisors and co-workers. I highly recommend this program; it’s been a huge asset to our company.
Henry Payne, Human Resources Generalist
Hasbro Milton Bradley Company
East Longmeadow, MA
For so many Mount Holyoke College staff, BayState Works training programs have opened up a world of self-awareness, self-assuredness, and thoughts of considering and conquering new horizons. The trainings and trainers have received rave reviews from our participants, and many have recommended these trainings to other staff members. Thank you BayState Works!
Rosemary Jackson, Employment Specialist,
Human Resources, Mount Holyoke College
The Labor/Management Workplace Education Program has been a phenomenal resource for workers, giving them a wonderful opportunity to further their training and education; and just as importantly, a chance to
connect with other workers. The LMWEP has assisted countless workers in reaching their full potential through training programs that teach a myriad of subjects from English as a second language to leadership and economic survival skills. The LMWEP's worker centered model for education benefits all involved. Workers will be well served to have the program continue to act as a resource to help them discover their full potential and gain confidence through the LMWEP.
Robert J. Haynes
President, Massachusetts AFL-CIO
Your perfect vision of what we are trying to achieve was very evident as the different segments touched on all the aspects we wanted these potential supervisors to become familiar with. The feedback was tremendous from all participants. I sincerely thank LMWEP for their outstanding efforts in establishing this very important and much needed class.
Donald Sullivan, Manager
UMass Custodial Services
Our organization, the Massachusetts Worker Education Roundtable, is a network of worker education programs throughout the state. We are involved in brokering relationships and starting up learning programs at unionized workplaces. In some areas of the state it is difficult for us to find good providers willing and able to go into workplaces and create innovative curricula that meets the specific needs of employers, unions and workers. This has never been a problem in Western Massachusetts because the UMass Amherst Labor/Management Worker Education Program has years of experience in doing needs analyses, facilitating labor-management oversight teams, and developing curriculum contextualized to the workplace as well as offering outstanding instruction at a variety of workplaces in several industries. As we move into a period where worker education and training is likely to expand, this rare skill set is more and more valuable and needed.
Connie Nelson, Ed.D. Director
Massachusetts Worker Education Roundtable
I've really seen a difference. Staff are now collaborating. They are now communicating. And they're enthusiastic. It's just been amazing.
Diane Benoit, Manager of Building Services, Smith College
The Labor/Management Workplace Education Program is first class all the way. Over the years, my program staff has had the privilege of interacting with LMWEP staff and members, and it has been a true learning process. LMWEP’s groundbreaking work on issues of “class and caste” is to be commended.
Steve Bender, Executive Director
1199NE Training and Upgrading Fund, Hartford, CT
We were extremely pleased with the special Excel course put on by LMWEP for our administrative staff. Participants appreciated the patient and thoughtful instruction and were enthusiastic throughout the 6-week course. Best of all was that in addition to learning Excel, our staff came away from the classes feeling energized and valued, with a greater sense of collegiality. The classes were such a success we will be working with LMWEP again this fall to offer courses in advance Excel and web publishing.
Karen Schoenberger, Assistant Dean
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
University of Massachusetts Amherst
The training grant classes provided numerous learning opportunities and exciting outcomes for the union staff at Smith College. While it was clearly evident that staff benefitted from the supervisory practicum and computer classes, the intangible benefits such as improved communication, networking outside of their own work areas and a desire to continue to expand their knowledge was remarkable.
Kathleen Zieja, Director,
Dining Services, Smith College
The Association for World Education is thrilled about the upcoming cooperation with the Labor/ Management Workplace Education Program at UMass, Amherst. The impact of globalization, information technology, climate change and the energy/food crisis are felt all over the world. It is essential to connect local learners across the globe and we see our cooperation as an important step.
Jakob Erle, President
Association for World Education