We provide relevant information and training to handle today’s changing economy and workplace.
The American labor movement is our country’s most successful, lasting effort to promote economic and social change. The William Brennan Institute for Labor Studies (WBILS) is an outreach unit of the University of Nebraska Omaha’s (UNO) College of Public Affairs and Community Service. We are driven by a statewide mission to foster creative and critical thinking among labor leaders, potential leaders and interested union members. Additionally, the Institute welcomes opportunities to speak with members of the general public about the American labor movement and it's many contributions to making this nation where everyday wage earners have a fair shot at the piece of the American Dream.
WBILS engages in teaching, service and research activities.
- Open enrollment non-credit courses for members of labor organizations that engage in collective bargaining.
- Custom-designed contract courses for local unions, state associations or central labor councils.
- Applied research and information requests from organized labor.
- Public education service to organizations inside and outside the labor movement.
- Hosting the annual “Promoting the General Welfare” labor studies conference.
Since its inception in 1980, the William Brennan Institute has essentially kept its mission intact. It acts as a teaching bridge, offering university resources to Nebraskans and their labor organizations. It’s a natural fit within the College of Public Affairs and Community Service and serves some 2,500 participants annually. While the role of labor unions is often misunderstood, WBILS programming works to educate and empower—one person, one organization at a time.