Non-profit

National Labor College

NationalLaborCollegeLogo (link)
Location:

WASHINGTON, DC

Tax ID:

52-0895834

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2016):

Revenue: $1,351,497
Expenses: $1,380,392
Assets: $10,640

Affiliated:

AFL-CIO

Type:

Higher Education Institution

Founded:

1969

Defunct:

2014

The National Labor College was a higher education institution located in Silver Spring, Maryland, that was operated in partnership with the large left-of-center labor federation the . The college was founded in 1969 by then-AFL-CIO president George Meany and later was formally established as the George Meany Center for Labor Studies. The center partnered with a local college to grant degrees until it was accredited to grant degrees directly in the 1990s and was renamed the National Labor College.

The college was operated by the AFL-CIO for the entirety of its existence and the AFL-CIO president, at the time of its closure Richard Trumka, was the chair of the college’s board. The college closed in 2014 citing ongoing financial difficulties and the 47-acre campus was sold to the Amalgamated Transit Union. [1] [2] [3]

History

What later became the National Labor College was founded by then-AFL-CIO president George Meaney in 1969 as a labor studies center to offer educational opportunities developed by the AFL-CIO for both union leaders and rank-and-file union members. The executive board of the AFL-CIO decided to pursue establishing the center on a physical campus that could become a union training center and promote trade unionism. The federation purchased a 47-acre plot of land in Silver Spring, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, D.C. The AFL-CIO purchased the campus from a Roman Catholic order called the Xaverian Brothers in 1971. [4]

In 1971, the center was formally established as the George Meany Center for Labor Studies. The center began offering undergraduate bachelor of arts degrees in the discipline of “labor studies” through a partnership with Antioch College, a program that continued until the early 1990s. In the 1970s and 1980s the campus continued to grow with the center erecting a dorm and an archive building also named after Meany. [5]

In 1997 the George Meany Center for Labor Studies was authorized to grant baccalaureate degrees by the Maryland State Higher Education Commission, and under the direction of then-AFL-CIO president John Sweeney, the center was renamed to the National Labor College. The college began granting degrees directly to students, ending its affiliation with Antioch College. [6]

While the National Labor College only granted associates and bachelor’s degrees, the college created a partnership with the University of Baltimore in 1997 that allowed the university to offer graduate degree programs at the National Labor College Campus. [7]

Official Name

Since it began granting degrees in 1997 the institution was referred to as the National Labor College, although its official name was changed in 2000 to the George Meany Center for Labor Studies-the National Labor College, and in 2004, it was changed to National Labor College-George Meany Campus. [8]

Campus Expansion and Decline

In 2003 the National Labor College embarked on an “ambitious” campus refurbishment effort that included opening a new residence hall and a large new conference center that also housed classrooms a dining hall and administrative offices. [9]

The 2003 redevelopment effort led to the eventual closure of the National Labor College. The large conference center developed at the campus was named for the late Lane Kirkland, former AFL-CIO president. The 72,000 square foot conference center opened in 2007 and failed to cover its own operating costs. Paula Peinovich, who was president of the college when it closed, said that the college had over $30 million in debt when she became president in 2010, mostly related to debt incurred from the construction of the Lane Kirkland Center. [10]

In 2012, the college listed its 47-acre campus for sale citing budgetary issues. At the time the college stated that it would continue to operate both its online presence and conduct in-person classes at a to-be-determined rented facility. Georgetown University and Montgomery College were reported as prospective buyers by the Washington Post. [11]

Closure and Transfer of Programs

In 2013, the National Labor College announced that it would close permanently following the spring 2014 semester. At the time of its closure the college had approximately 600 online students and 500 on-campus students. The college’s final commencement was held in April 2014 and remaining students were allowed to complete their studies under teach-out agreements with Empire State College (a part of the State University of New York System) and Penn State University. [12] [13]

Some programs administered by the college were transferred to other institutions. The college’s Bonnie Laden Union Skills program was transferred directly to the AFL-CIO, and the OSHA program was transferred to West Virginia University. [14]

In July 2014 the campus of the National Labor College was sold to the Amalgamated Transit Union, a union affiliated with the AFL-CIO representing transportation employees. [15]

Financials

At the time of its closure, the National Labor College had a reported $12 million annual operating budget, of which the AFL-CIO funded $5 million annually. Richard Trumka, then-president of the AFL-CIO, was chair of the college’s board at the time of its closure. The college employed 58 faculty and staff. Thea Lee, the AFL-CIO deputy chief of staff at the time of the closure, blamed the closure on “financial difficulties that became insurmountable at some point.” [16]

Enrollment at the college was open to members of AFL-CIO unions and their families, who paid $297 per credit hour. [17] Non-union members were expected to pay $528 per credit hour. [18]

Curriculum

Much of the curriculum offered by the National Labor College centered on promoting labor unions and labor organizing. The college was divided into a School of Labor Studies and a School of Professional Studies, both of which granted various Bachelor of Arts degrees and certificates. Certificates offered by the college includes subject areas such as labor education, labor organizing, union leadership, “leadership for change,” arbitration and grievance handling, and building trades union administration. [19]

Other degree areas offered by the school included small business administration, construction management, and emergency readiness. [20]

Courses offered by the college included courses titled “Living Labor History,” “Labor and Politics,” “Labor and Work in the Global Economy,” “Labor, Congress, and the Presidency,” and “Labor as a Social Movement.” Some of the “learning outcomes” stated by the college for its school of labor studies included “Building solidarity within labor and among community and

coalition partners” and “Race and gender and their influence on work and labor.” [21]

References

  1. “History.” National Labor College. Accessed August 6, 2022.  http://www.nlc.edu/sample-page/about/history/ ^
  2. “National Labor College to Close in 2014.” Washington Post. December 18, 2013. Accessed August 6, 2022. https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/national-labor-college-to-close-in-2014/2013/12/18/0cebb9f8-6812-11e3-8b5b-a77187b716a3_story.html ^
  3. “About.” National Labor College. Accessed August 6, 2022.  http://www.nlc.edu/sample-page/about/ ^
  4. “History.” National Labor College. Accessed August 6, 2022.  http://www.nlc.edu/sample-page/about/history/ ^
  5.  “History.” National Labor College. Accessed August 6, 2022.  http://www.nlc.edu/sample-page/about/history/ ^
  6.  “History.” National Labor College. Accessed August 6, 2022.  http://www.nlc.edu/sample-page/about/history/ ^
  7. “History.” National Labor College. Accessed August 6, 2022.  http://www.nlc.edu/sample-page/about/history/ ^
  8. “History.” National Labor College. Accessed August 6, 2022.  http://www.nlc.edu/sample-page/about/history/ ^
  9. Anderson, Nick. “National Labor College to Close in 2014.” Washington Post. December 18, 2013. Accessed August 6, 2022. https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/national-labor-college-to-close-in-2014/2013/12/18/0cebb9f8-6812-11e3-8b5b-a77187b716a3_story.html ^
  10. Anderson, Nick. “National Labor College to Close in 2014.” Washington Post. December 18, 2013. Accessed August 6, 2022. https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/national-labor-college-to-close-in-2014/2013/12/18/0cebb9f8-6812-11e3-8b5b-a77187b716a3_story.html ^
  11. O’Connell, Jonathan. “Georgetown University, Montgomery College in the running to acquire National Labor College campus in Silver Spring.” Washington Post. September 30, 2012. Accessed August 6, 2022. https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/capitalbusiness/georgetown-university-montgomery-college-in-the-running-to-acquire-national-labor-college-campus-in-silver-spring/2012/09/28/4abc76a4-08bf-11e2-a10c-fa5a255a9258_story.html ^
  12. “National Labor College to Close in 2014.” Washington Post. December 18, 2013. Accessed August 6, 2022. https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/national-labor-college-to-close-in-2014/2013/12/18/0cebb9f8-6812-11e3-8b5b-a77187b716a3_story.html ^
  13. “About.” National Labor College. Accessed August 6, 2022.  http://www.nlc.edu/sample-page/about/ ^
  14. “About.” National Labor College. Accessed August 6, 2022.  http://www.nlc.edu/sample-page/about/ ^
  15. “About.” National Labor College. Accessed August 6, 2022.  http://www.nlc.edu/sample-page/about/ ^
  16. “National Labor College to Close in 2014.” Washington Post. December 18, 2013. Accessed August 6, 2022. https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/national-labor-college-to-close-in-2014/2013/12/18/0cebb9f8-6812-11e3-8b5b-a77187b716a3_story.html ^
  17. “National Labor College to Close in 2014.” Washington Post. December 18, 2013. Accessed August 6, 2022. https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/national-labor-college-to-close-in-2014/2013/12/18/0cebb9f8-6812-11e3-8b5b-a77187b716a3_story.html ^
  18. “2013-2014 Course Catalog.” National Labor College. Accessed August 6, 2022.  http://www.nlc.edu/documents_PDF/2013-2014-course-catalog.pdf ^
  19. “2013-2014 Course Catalog.” National Labor College. Accessed August 6, 2022.  http://www.nlc.edu/documents_PDF/2013-2014-course-catalog.pdf ^
  20. [1] “National Labor College to Close in 2014.” Washington Post. December 18, 2013. Accessed August 6, 2022. https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/national-labor-college-to-close-in-2014/2013/12/18/0cebb9f8-6812-11e3-8b5b-a77187b716a3_story.html ^
  21. “2013-2014 Course Catalog.” National Labor College. Accessed August 6, 2022.  http://www.nlc.edu/documents_PDF/2013-2014-course-catalog.pdf ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Tefere Gebre
    Former Board Secretary
  2. Liz Shuler
    Former Board Treasurer
  3. Richard Trumka
    Former Board Chair
  See an error? Let us know!

Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: June - May
  • Tax Exemption Received: April 1, 1970

  • 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
    2016 Jun Form 990 $1,351,497 $1,380,392 $10,640 $0 N $1,334,000 $0 $0 $49,701
    2015 Jun Form 990 $2,668,700 $1,948,109 $183,691 $169,156 N $2,532,000 $0 $0 $291,516 PDF
    2014 Jun Form 990 $10,714,894 $11,719,094 $33,586,590 $43,146,069 N $8,499,856 $2,191,643 $0 $528,059 PDF
    2013 Jun Form 990 $14,434,298 $15,661,774 $40,607,511 $43,312,642 N $9,703,336 $3,947,673 $0 $518,225 PDF
    2012 Jun Form 990 $16,073,512 $18,463,920 $41,602,559 $43,241,000 N $12,777,611 $3,196,556 $0 $463,233 PDF
    2011 Jun Form 990 $15,678,690 $19,495,579 $45,150,093 $42,698,660 N $5,128,927 $10,431,637 $3,436 $460,160 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    National Labor College

    815 16TH ST NW
    WASHINGTON, DC 20006-4101