Washington, D.C. – Richard Oeser, a member of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), Locals 52, 41 and 84, recently was one of eight union activists to receive a scholarship through the Union Plus National Labor College Scholarship program. The program is provided through the Union Plus Education Foundation, and administered by the George Meany Center–National Labor College (GMC-NLC).
The scholarship winners, who represent a wide range of union affiliations, goals and accomplishments, attend the GMC-NLC in Silver Spring, MD. The GMC-NLC, one of the world’s premier labor education institutions, has graduated nearly 800 students from its Bachelor of Arts in Labor Studies program, since becoming a college in 1997.
Oeser, who earned his B.A. degree from GMC-NLC last year, is expected to receive his M.A. (Master of Arts) in Legal and Ethical Studies in June 2004. The Master degree program is offered in partnership between GMC-NLC and the University of Baltimore.
Oeser is a member of IATSE Locals 52, 41, and 84, for which he serves as an executive board member. A studio mechanic, he says that the Union Plus National Labor College Scholarship award is “really helpful, especially because I have to sacrifice work assignments to attend GMC-NLC.” It’s a sacrifice he’s willing and happy to make. “I love GMC-NLC. There’s no place else like it. It’s such an enriching experience, and it’s a place where you can make friends for life.”
Leslie Tolf, President of Union Privilege, explains the importance of financial assistance: “Higher education has become increasingly more difficult for working families to afford. That is why we are proud to sponsor the Union Plus National Labor College Scholarship program and help men and women in the labor movement achieve their dreams for a higher education.”
Tolf adds, “The National Labor College offers a unique program that is tailor-made for working men and women. The program allows students to attend classes at their own pace; the curriculum complements the work and union experiences of students; and it provides a learning assessment program that enables many students to obtain college credit for their relevant life and work experiences.”
For more information about the 2003 Union Plus National Labor College Scholarship program, visit www.unionplus.org/scholarships
For details about the George Meany Center for Labor Studies, visit www.georgemeany.org
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Union Privilege, founded by the AFL-CIO in 1986, develops and manages the Union Plus consumer benefit programs. The Union Plus programs are designed to help the families of the 13 million members of AFL-CIO affiliated unions save time and money. The Union Plus programs include a money-saving credit card, free and discounted legal service, discounted prescriptions and health care services, education and job skills training assistance, travel and recreation discounts and more.
The George Meany Center – National Labor College, dates back to 1969, when the AFL-CIO, then under the direction of President George Meany, recognized that the labor movement needed to have its own college – a national center that would provide continuous labor education for all union activists. Today, the 70 week-long labor studies programs promote education and training opportunities for union leadership and rank-and-file members.