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Home > Academics > Pathways > Business & Civic Engagement > Labor Center > Student Testimonials

Student Testimonials

Carmen Atencio

Carmen Atencio, Letter Carrier, Certificate in Labor Studies

“I’ve gained knowledge,” she says, “that no-one can take away.”

For the past 13 years, Letter Carrier Carmen Atencio has taken classes at Trade-Tech.  About to earn her A.A. in Labor Studies, she credits the Labor Center for giving her the confidence to help members and build her union.

Carolyn, Jackson

Carolyn, Jackson, SEIU Local 721, Certificate in Labor Studies, June 2013

“Goals are dreams and dreams come true.  If you can think it, you can achieve it.  Labor Studies has given me a new look on life.” 
Catherine Schafer

Catherine Schafer, E-Board of UFCW Local 1428, Certificate in Labor Studies, June 2011

“We need to be communicating to the public about our issues so that when we need public support for a strike or negotiations, it’s not out of the blue.”
Corrine Thomas

Corrine Thomas, UFCW Local 324, Certificate in Labor Studies, December 2012

“I have been taking the LA Trade Tech labor classes that have been offered at my union, these classes are very informative and help our members in the job place. Our instructors incorporate fun into our curriculum that truly makes learning enjoyable.”
Daniel Cruz

Daniel Cruz, Benefits Department, UFCW Local 1428, Certificate in Labor Studies

“I love the interaction with people from other unions – learning how others do things so I can help our members better.”
Diana Gandara

Diana Gandara, USW local 7600, Certificate in Labor Studies, June 2013

“Taking these classes will empower you to be stronger with your union and your job.” 
Diana Marquez

Diana Marquez, A.A. in Labor Studies, June 2012

“I learned about my own worker’s rights and how to stand up for them. Everyone has had workplace issues and the classes were a safe space to address them. I also gathered a network of support – teachers, other students — that I know will continuously be there for me as I grow as a student. Thank you to all!”
Diane Hacker

Diane Hacker, Steward, UFCW Local 1428, Certificate in Labor Studies, June 2010

“I realized how important it was to know the history of unions and the laws protecting workers,” she says.  “Labor Center classes taught me all that and more.”

After taking part in the 2003 Southern California supermarket strike, Diane Hacker was eager to learn all she could about the labor movement.

Dionne Morrissette

Dionne Morrissette, E-Board Member, AFT Local 1521A, Certificate in Labor Studies, June 2012

“The classes equip you with the skills necessary to be more involved in your union and the larger labor movement. You learn how important it is to talk about Labor to everyone, even to your family.”
Jann Whetstone

Jann Whetstone, IBEW Local 11, Certificate in Labor Studies, June 2011

“Labor Studies taught us strategic planning to organize, run and win campaigns to help stop the destruction of unions and the middle class.”
Jeannette Orduna

Jeannette Orduna, Former Organizer, Full Time Student, Certificate in Labor Studies, December 2012

“It’s a really great program, and it’s affordable. I learned a lot from the teachers and students because they care about the Labor Movement.”
Joaquin Miramontes

Joaquin Miramontes, Steward, Bargaining Committee Member, Delegate to the LA County Fed for SEIU Local 721, Certificate in Labor Studies, June 2013

“Labor education is fundamental to the building and the longevity of the Labor Movement.”
Luis Salazar

Luis Salazar, Organizer, Certificate in Labor Studies, June 2011

I know I have the heart for social justice work, the classes gave me the tools to work smart — how to do the work and do it well.”
Mark Woomer

Mark Woomer, Business Agent, Teamsters Local 952

“The best part of the program is the teachers who have “hands-on” experience and other students who are from all kinds of unions, so you learn how different unions do things.” 
Patrice Smith

Patrice Smith, NALC Branch 24, Certificate in Labor Studies, June 2012

“The Labor Center classes made it possible for me, working with too much on my plate, to be educated. I learned effective public speaking, how to run a committee; really how to be a leader. Thank you.”
Renee Clark

Renee Clark, SEIU Local 721, Certificate in Labor Studies, June 2012

“The labor studies classes changed my life – made me a better person, better educated, I have a better understanding about unions and how things work.  I am more knowledgeable about policies, rules and laws than ever before.  My co-workers come to me because they know I have the answers.”
Rudy Corral

Rudy Corral, Labor Organizer, Ventura Federation of Teachers Local 1828, Certificate in Labor Studies 2010

"Commuting to Ventura to work, the on-line classes are flexible and the quality is superb.  There’s a lot of interaction, even more than in-person classes.  You have time to review what you write.  The on-line classes REALLY helped my writing.”
Salena Coleman

Salena Coleman, SEIU LOCAL 721, Certificate in Labor Studies, December 2012

“There’s power behind the knowledge we get in the Labor Studies classes. It helps me deal with management because they know that I know what they can and can’t do.”
Theodorah McKenna

Theodorah McKenna, License Clinical Social Worker, President, AFSCME Local 2712, Certificate in Labor Studies, 2009

“When I had to step up suddenly to replace a departing president, it was my L.A. Trade-Tech Labor Studies family of instructors and classmates whose support and nuts and bolts know-how helped me grow into my new position, and better serve my members.”
Turner Roberts

Turner Roberts A.A. Degree in Labor Studies 2011

"You learned what your rights are.  The teachers are down to earth, tangible, touchable, they explain what your rights are so you can get them.”
Victoria Frantz

Victoria Frantz, UFCW Local 324, Certificate in Labor Studies, December 2012


“My managers know I’ve been taking classes and now graduated.  They used to treat me like a peon but now they respect me because they see that I know what I’m doing.”

Victoria wasn’t involved at all until she became a Strike Captain in the 03/04 grocery strike and lockout.  That Front Line experience inspired and motivated her to get involved, get educated.  She became a Steward and recently a Labor Studies Graduate.

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