AFSCME Training and Education Institute


Washington, DC

Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2017):

Revenue: $139,496
Expenses: $114,841
Assets: $12,842


Non-profit training and education


Lee Saunders (AFSCME)



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AFSCME Training and Education Institute (ATEI) is a non-profit affiliated with the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). 1 ATEI provides training, career development, and job upgrading for employees of public agencies who are members of AFSCME.

AFSCME is the largest labor union for government employees other than teachers, with over 1.3 million members including retirees. 2 It advocates for left-of-center polices, including a government-controlled single-payer healthcare system, support for increased taxes and an expanded welfare state, opposition to entitlement and pension reforms, and support for granting legal status to illegal immigrants. 3

Programs and Grants

AFSCME Training and Education Institute creates training manuals as a form of its education and training programs. One such example is the “Execution, Trenching and Shoring Safety and OSHA’s Excavation Standard; AFSCME Training and Education Institute Manual” written by ATEI and funded through a grant it received from Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of the U.S. Department of Labor. 4

In 2017, ATEI and the AFSCME Education Department created a webinar and video titled, “Saving Your Back,” focusing on facts and injury rates for home healthcare workers. 5

In 2007, ATEI created the Investor Education for Working Families, which was initially funded by a $692,180 grant from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Investor Education Foundation. The program teaches AFSCME union members basic investing principles and increases investment literacy. 6

National Institutes of Health Grant

Each year from 1995 to 2009, ATEI received grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH)  for a project titled, “Worker Health and Safety Training Cooperative Agreement.” Grant amounts ranged each year from $502,389 to $761,017 over the 14 years. 7 Even though project titles for grant applications were the same for each grant awarded, some tasks were different, including such tasks as worker training on the prevention of and emergency response of hazardous materials in AFSCME-represented workplaces,8 9 to develop workers’ ability to respond to unplanned releases of hazardous substances, and to participate in efforts to improve workplace safety in AFSCME-represented occupations. 10

Susan Harwood Training Grant

In 2018, ATEI received a Susan Harwood Training Grant of $165,000 provided through OSHA, U.S. Department of Labor. It was allotted for 1-30 hours of training to 680 employees and workers in secured mental health facilities and in youth and adult correctional institutions. 11

In 2016, ATEI received a grant of $148,500 for 4-hour worker training and a 4-day trainer training to workers within the home healthcare industry. This training was aimed at workers with limited English proficiency, low literacy, and those who were vulnerable, with training being both in English and Spanish. 12

ATEI received grants from OSHA dating back as far as 1998, when it received a $149,000 grant in order to educate 480 highway construction workers about the hazards of highway work zones. The goal was that after those 480 workers concluded the training, participants would then teach other AFSCME union members. 13


In April 1979, Career Development Inc. was developed as an affiliated nonprofit alongside AFSCME to receive federal grants, with its primary focus on health and safety, as well as career development. However, shortly after the Reagan administration did not renew funding, so it became inactive for quite some time. In the mid-1990s, it became active again, seeking grants from OSHA. In the late 1990s, Career Development, Inc. became the AFSCME Training and Education Institute. The administrative work of ATEI is handled by the Research Department within AFSCME. 14


There is no clear leadership specifically for ATEI and it does not have a separate website. There is no information about ATEI on AFSCME’s website.

Lee Saunders is the current president of AFSCME and has worked for the union since 1978, where he started as a labor economist. While he has been president, the union launched the AFSCME Strong program, which aims at building both internal and external organizing and recognizes individual members efforts and contributions. The program has assisted in increasing the union’s membership numbers. 15 Saunders has served as administrator of numerous AFSCME councils and local unions across the U.S., along with serving as the administrator of AFSCME District Council 37, New York City’s largest government worker union. He is a vice president of the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) Executive Council, which guides the daily work of the labor federation, and serves as chair of its Political Committee. He is an at-large member of the Democratic National Committee, president of the AFL-CIO “community affiliate” Working America, and treasurer of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. Saunders also sits on the boards of Priorities USA and the Democracy Alliance. 16

Elissa McBride is the secretary-treasurer of AFSCME. She has helped to create the Secretary-Treasurer Online Resource Center, which supports the work of local secretary-treasurers. In 1989, she joined the United Auto Workers District 65, and in 2001, she began working for AFSCME as the director of Education and Leadership Training department. McBride created AFSCME’s Leadership Academy. She is also a member of the AFL-CIO Executive Council and serves on its Civil Rights, Immigration, and Working Women committees. She also serves on the board of directors of the labor-union-aligned advocacy groups National Employment Law Project and Jobs with Justice. She is a member of AFSCME Local 1072 (Council 3). 17


  1. American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees, Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax (Form 990), 2015, Schedule R, Part II – Identification of Related Tax-Exempt Organizations. Accessed August 7, 2020.
  2. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Annual Report of a Labor Organization (Form LM-2), 2019, Schedule 13
  3. Our Issues. AFSCME. Accessed August 5, 2020.
  4. “Execution, Trenching and Shoring Safety and OSHA’s Excavation Standard; AFSCME Training and Education Institute Manual.” StudyLib. Accessed August 7, 2020.–trenching-and-shoring-safety-osha-s-excavation
  5. Video. Brown, Diana Matthew. “Saving Your Back.” AFSCME Education & Training. February 24, 2017. Accessed August 12, 2020.
  6. Press Release. “AFSCME Training and Education Institute Creates Investor Education Program for Working Families.” FINRA. December 19, 2007. Accessed August 5, 2020.
  7. Project Information – History. Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools (RePORT) National Institute of Health, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Accessed August 7, 2020.
  8. Project Information, Project #5U45ES007823-13. Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools (RePORT) National Institute of Health, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. FY 2007. Accessed August 7, 2020.
  9. Project Information, Project #5U45ES007823-15. Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools (RePORT) National Institute of Health, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. FY 2009. Accessed August 7, 2020.
  10. Project Information, Project #5U45ES007823-08. Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools (RePORT) National Institute of Health, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. FY 2002. Accessed August 7, 2020.
  11. Susan Harwood Training Grant Program; Targeted Topic Training Grant. OSHA. Fiscal Year 2018. Accessed August 6, 2020. 
  12. Susan Harwood Training Grant Program; Capacity Building Grants. OSHA. Fiscal Year 2016. Accessed August 12, 2020.
  13. Press Release. “OSHA Awards $4M in Training Grants to Protect Workers.” Property and October 16, 1998. Accessed August 12, 2020.
  14. Russ, Johanna. AFSCME Career Development Program Records. AFSCME. March 29, 2013. Accessed August 6, 2020.
  15. About – Leadership. Lee Saunders. AFSCME. Accessed August 5, 2020.
  16. About – Leadership. Lee Saunders. AFSCME. Accessed August 5, 2020.
  17. About – Leadership. Elissa McBride. AFSCME. Accessed August 6, 2020.
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: February 1, 1981

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2017 Dec Form 990EZ $139,496 $114,841 $12,842 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990EZ $25 $2,015 $6,976 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990EZ $49 $9,765 $8,966 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    AFSCME Training and Education Institute

    1625 L ST NW
    Washington, DC 20036-5687