Level One Leadership Scholars Willing to Accept Challenges

As part of a new element to the Leadership Scholarship training, each training class will be asked to find a Class Communicator who will be responsible for submitting a story about their class training and photos.  

Jim Johnston from USW Local Union 1219 agreed to accept this responsibility and provided a report. Jim is the Financial Secretary for his local and the District 10 Next Generation Co-Coordinator.

This year's Level One Leadership Scholarship program was comprised of a very diverse group of labor leaders and activists from various states across America and from Canada.

The instructors challenged us daily and took us all out of our comfort zone, creating difficult situations for us to work through together. We all learned our different leadership styles and how to work together on a common goal.

The challenges of public speaking and building more effective local unions was the main goal of the level one course. We heard from two great guest speakers, Allan McDougall, the international ERT director taught us the importance of effective communication and Paul F. Clark, from the Department of Labor studies and Employment Relations from Penn State University, showed us key ways to engage all our members especially new hires.

The classroom work was challenging and informative but this bonds that were built between classmates were the greatest part of the educational process. We shared stories, the difficulties we all face in our locals as well as what works well within the structure of our locals. Programs that we use to help build solidarity, such as Next Gen, WOS, and rapid response.

Finally we were tasked with "good works" projects, assignments that require us to take back what we have learned to our locals and our communities and engage our brothers and sisters to help empower and engage them, creating and inspiring life long activism within our union.