The University of Iowa Labor Center Internships

The UI Labor Center provides educational programs and research support to Iowa’s working people and their organizations. Since 1951, the Labor Center has acted as a bridge between the University and Iowa’s labor community.

Internship #8 – Iowa Labor History Oral Project Assistant 

The Iowa Labor History Oral Project (ILHOP) is a 40-year collaboration between the UI Labor Center and the Iowa labor movement, the State Historical Society of Iowa, UI Libraries, and the Iowa Labor History Society (ILHS). With over 1,200 interviews and counting, ILHOP is one of the largest and longest-running, labor focused oral history projects in the world. It is a critical resource for scholarly research into the labor and working-class history of Iowa and the Midwest, as well as a multi-generational repository of memory and family history for Iowa workers and their unions.

The Labor Center seeks an intern to support culminating stages of a multi-year project to expand and transform ILHOP into a unified, digital collection fully accessible to the public. With support from a National Endowment for the Humanities grant, a comprehensive digital index is currently under construction to accompany fully digitized audio files and transcripts of the entire collection. At an exciting time for the project, the summer intern will engage in finalizing the digital index and transcripts, and preparing for the public launch of a new, interactive project web site developed in coordination with the UI’s Digital Studio and the Iowa Digital Library.

Key Responsibilities 

  • Auditing and editing oral history interview transcripts, and editing digital Index to interview collection
  • Evaluating layout and functionality of new web portal, and recommending revisions for beta version
  • Developing print and digital promotional materials to support public launch of new project web portal
  • Documenting project activities for final grant report to National Endowment for the Humanities

Qualifications & Skills Preferred

  • Experience with audio editing
  • Interest in Iowa history, labor and working-class history, oral history, public history, digital history, and/or library and information studies
  • Strong editing and communication skills
  • Experience with or willingness to learn web site design principles
  • Ability to develop materials appropriate for public audiences

Supervisor: John McKerley, Labor Center Oral Historian and ILHOP Project Manager

Internship #9 – Iowa Women in Trades Network Researcher & Outreach 

Women and people of color continue to be grossly underrepresented in skilled trade occupations and in apprenticeship training programs leading to high-wage work in the construction sector. In 2019, the Labor Center launched a new initiative to connect members of underrepresented groups with apprenticeship training opportunities in Iowa, and to promote policies designed to diversity the skilled trades. One important component of this initiative is the creation of the first-ever Iowa Women in Trades Network. This intern will contribute to research, education, interviewing, and outreach in support of developing the new Iowa Women in Trades Network.

Key Responsibilities

  • Researching best practices for recruitment and retention of women in “nontraditional” occupations
  • Collecting past and present stories of Iowa women construction trades apprentices and journey workers for use in educational and promotional materials
  • Developing educational and promotional materials
  • Developing and delivering outreach presentations to partner organizations

Qualifications and Skills Preferred

  • Ability to interact effectively with Iowans from a wide range of backgrounds
  • Strong research and communication skills
  • Ability to develop print and digital materials appropriate for public audiences
  • Willingness to travel to multiple Iowa communities

Supervisor: Jennifer Sherer, Director, Labor Center