Center for Labor Education and Research
University of Hawaiʻi - West Oʻahu

91-1001 Farrington Highway, Kapolei, HI 96707
(808) 689-2760 - FAX (808) 689-2761

Labor Studies Certificate

    UHWO Certificate in Labor Studies    

Download our 2023 Labor Studies Certificate Flyer to circulate and post.


The Center for Labor Education & Research (CLEAR) is pleased to announce the July 31 deadline for scholarships for the Labor Studies Certificate Program at the University of Hawaiʻi-West Oʻahu. Classes will begin on August 21st.

The online 15-credit Labor Studies certificate program empowers students with the knowledge to improve their working lives and equips them with the skills necessary for careers as labor resource specialists. Courses address union structures and politics, workers' rights, labor laws, collective bargaining, and labor theory.

Non-traditional adult learners may have their high school GPA and course requirements met by one providing documentation of experience. Unionists and traditional students engage in the content concurrently and submit written and podcast responses. All courses meet the university criteria for oral/speech communication development.

Student course evaluation comments from last semester are below:

Labor student course evaluation comment: "As an elected officer of my union, this course brought vital insights into not only the history of labor in the US and in the world, but also to the ethical standards with which we should operate."

Traditional Student evaluation comment: "I have learned so much new information about how society has been functioning around me my entire lifetime."

Please see the 2023 Labor Studies Certificate Flyer for scholarship and application information.

The Labor Studies certificate program empowers students with the knowledge to improve their working lives and equips them with the skills necessary for labor resource specialists. Hawaiʻi is one of the most unionized states in the United States, and organized labor has played a central role for democracy and equality in Hawai'i. Our courses equip students to think critically about the relationship between work and quality of life, and provide students with the opportunity to view race, culture, gender, economics, political science, media, history, and the future of work from a labor perspective. Courses address workers' rights, labor laws, collective bargaining, and labor theories. As an interdisciplinary field, Labor Studies prepares students for graduate school in law, work in unions, labor resources, public service, or social sciences fields. Labor Studies includes an international focus, which helps students gain a critical understanding the broader global economy as it impacts working people.

Randy Perreira, President of Hawaiʻi State AFL-CIO writes "this program would enable students to gain important knowledge in labor resources and collective bargaining in the state with the highest union density in the United States".

The Hawaiʻi labor community and supporters encourage students at UH and union members to utilize this educational opportunity and apply and encourage younger family members to do so to empower the next generation. The 15-credit, 100% distance education labor resources certificate is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission and is the result of the advocacy by the labor community in Hawaiʻi for access to labor education in higher ed.

Because this is a new program, scholarships from various funders are under development and will be made available by the beginning of the semester. Thankfully, the Hawaiʻi State AFL-CIO's Labor Community Services Program has responded by immediately providing $5000 towards scholarships for labor program applicants.

Contact Dr. Leslie Lopez ( at UHWO -(808) 689-2764 for more information.

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