School for Workers is the original university-based labor education program in the United States. Started in 1925 as one of the first operational components of the Wisconsin Idea, the School's faculty and staff have long brought teaching, research, and outreach to thousands of workers, unions and employers throughout Wisconsin, the nation and the world.

Workers and COVID-19

Voices of Wisconsin Workers


In the United States, COVID-19 has devastated the lives of essential workers, their families and their communities. While many in the U.S. can work from home during the pandemic, those who grow and prepare the country’s food, care for the sick, maintain the state’s infrastructure, and educate the nation’s children must leave home to do their jobs. These workers face risk of infection and illness each day on the job. Workers of color and Latinx workers face greater risks than their non-Latinx, white counterparts and suffer poorer health outcomes as a result. This report, prepared by the University of Wisconsin School for Workers (SFW) in partnership with the University of Wisconsin – Population Health Institute presents the concerns about workplace safety expressed by workers in several industries deemed essential. These workers play a vital role in the well-being of all Wisconsin residents and the economy and deserve to be kept safe and healthy and have their voices be heard.

Read the full  Voices of Wisconsin Workers report here.

Read the full  Voices of Wisconsin Workers report here.

COVID-19 updates | Our work continues

School for Workers is available to you remotely, and we are actively continuing our mission.

School for Workers programming is switching to an online format. Institutes and customized training are developed and led by university faculty on a University of Wisconsin-Madison supported online platform. 

Online learning may be new to you, but School for Workers faculty and staff are available to assure your success! Before the class start date, participants will receive information on navigating the online platform and online learning best practices. Tips and help are available throughout the online classes, too.  

The needs of workers, unions, and worker organizations are greater than ever as our communities continue to operate in these challenging times. School for Workers is here to help!

Five reasons to take an online institute with School for Workers:

  1. Well-presented online material that’s easy to follow
  2. Flexibility to balance work, family, and the class
  3. Engaging discussions between students
  4. Knowledgeable and supportive faculty
  5. Affordable and accessible

Education for workplace democracy

Spring 2021 online institutes

Registration is open! View the full spring 2021 program brochure here.

  • Advanced Union Leadership

    Mon, Mar 15 – Sun, Apr 4 | Self-paced, three-week institute Tuition: $185 | Register by: Wed, Mar 10 Take your abilities to the next level by developing transformational leadership skills to build organizational durability …

  • Grievance Arbitration

    Mon, Apr 5 – Sun, Apr 25 | Blended, three-week institute  Tuition: $185 | Register by: Wed, Mar 31 Develop the tools and knowledge to be an effective union rep during the grievance and arbitration …

School for Workers news

National Labor College Legacy Institute

School for Workers is proud to be recognized as a National Labor College (NLC) Legacy Institute. As a Legacy Institute, the Board of Trustees of NLC recommends School for Workers to all members of the labor movement as an institute where they can access high-quality labor education offerings.