Virtual Education Conference: Smarter is Stronger



Full registration and class selection is now open! The conference is free to all USW and SOAR members.

To complete your registration, you will need to contact your local union to get your local’s code. This will allow you to finalize your registration and select the classes you want to take. 

If you already have your union’s unique code, click here to review conference content, register and pick your classes. (Enter the code where it says password on the form.)

If you don’t yet have your code, you can pre-register here with the USW 1942 code to continue getting updates, and you can review conference content here.

Be sure to get your local's code and complete your registration by Nov. 16.


We are excited to announce our first virtual education conference: Smarter is Stronger!

The conference will take place on Tuesday, November 17 and Wednesday, November 18 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. EST. 

While we would rather see you in person, we think this two-day virtual education conference will help to close the gap created by the pandemic that has forced the cancelation or postponement of so many in-person events. 

We are proud of the way we have all sustained the work of the union. Locals continue to negotiate contracts and represent members, districts are doing online steward and officer trainings, and we have organized new members during this crisis.

Thank you for all you have done on the local level to keep the union functioning in these unprecedented times. Through all of this, together, we have continued to work to provide the resources needed to best represent our members, and fight for safe and equitable workplaces. 

This education conference will consist of nearly 100 different training sessions about representation, officer duties, health and safety, and many other topics that reinforce the great work of our union and provide you with practical knowledge to take back to your local and workplace.

We will also have district breakouts and opportunities to socialize with others from our activist groups like Veterans of Steel and Next Gen. 

If you have any questions about the conference, please contact the USW Education and Membership Development Department at 412-562-2253.


This conference will be structured like in-person USW trainings. You will choose the classes you want to attend, register for them (coming soon!) and once the class you have selected begins, just push the attend button --much like you would walk into the room at an in-person conference. 

The schedule and full list of workshops is here. Here are a couple of examples of topics and workshops that will be available during the conference. 

Health and Safety: Hazard Mapping: Assessing Hazards at Work

This training will help members map areas of health and safety concerns within their workplace, especially in regards to new guidelines to protect workers against the coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID-19. 

Collective Bargaining: The Laws of Collective Bargaining

In this workshop we’ll review the most basic aspects of the National Labor Relations Act with respect to the employer’s duty to bargain. We’ll briefly look at the Union’s right to information; mandatory, permissive, and prohibited subjects; and the different types of strikes and lock-outs. 

Steward Training: Investigating Grievances

Sharpen your grievance handling skills by learning how to thoroughly investigate a possible discipline or contract violation. Participants will learn how to gather and document facts and practice interviewing techniques. 

Advanced Steward Training: FMLA

Since it was signed into law, The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) has become a key tool for working people when life takes unexpected turns. This workshop will include a basic overview of important provisions of FMLA. 

Union Basics: Labor History

The history of working people is absent from popular culture and much of what we learn in school but working-class people have been key movers and shakers throughout U.S. history. We will talk about that history and how it built the middle class. 

There will be many other workshops on these broad topics as well as New Media and Communications; Building Power through Legislation; Local Union Administration; Civil and Human Rights; and Building Solidarity. 


Operating online platforms is a new experience for many of us. Leading up to the conference, we will be hosting several practice sessions for members to get familiar with the technology. 

Check back here for more details on this.