Pete Cunningham
IBEW 134, Chicago

Pete Cunningham NLC graduate

My experience with the NLC/LEP was a great one. I not only learned about the history of the labor movement, I got to meet people from all around the country who are involved with the labor movement. What was an eye opener to me was listening to these members talk about how they have to fight the non-union in their respective industries.  Being a member in the Building Trades Unions of the City of Chicago, I believe we are spoiled by the amount of work that is performed by union members. It is easy to believe that the non-union element will not affect us in the Building Trades. That is why we need to be educated, so we can effectively fight for our rights as America’s workers. Knowledge is power, and the best way to obtain knowledge is through education. The NLC/LEP is a very welcoming educational environment for working men and women. The staff is energetic and open minded to the pressures that students who work full time are going through. My senior project was about the IBEW/Illinois Bell strike of 1968. Through my research I found out a lot about the members that were involved and the sacrifices they made. That was a very rewarding experience.


Todd Kindred

I have had many certifications in different areas of safety and I had always wanted to finish my degree. Until I took the Portfolio class I really didn’t realize how close I actually was to finishing my degree. Like many members I paid my own tuition and the partnership between the University of Illinois Labor Education Program and the National Labor College made it affordable for me to accomplish my goal of a Labor Safety and Health degree. I would encourage anyone interested in continuing their education to take a serious look at the programs and degrees offered through the UIUC-LEP partnership.

Training Director
Northern Illinois Electrical Training center

NLC graduate Todd Kindred

My experience at the National Labor College and the CLEP program was, for me, very personally enriching.  Not only did I get to round out an existing education but I got the chance to learn from my peers throughout the labor movement as well.  The program has an outstanding mix of textbook style learning coupled with knowledge and experience of Professors who come directly or indirectly from the labor movement and have valuable real world experiences to share.  I would strongly encourage anyone who is considering pursuing a degree, but doesn't think that they have the time, to pursue a degree through the CLEP/NLC partnership.


Rich Egeland
IBT 705

Rich Egeland NLC graduate

Attending the National Labor College has had a tremendous impact on my life. Having the opportunity to interact with colleagues from various other unions has broadened my horizons and perspective as to the  problems that confront all of us involved in the labor movement. With engaging conversations, in-depth research and leadership from both the National Labor College and Chicago Labor Education Program educators, I have become better equipped to face our future challenges. I know that attending these classes, I have received the best possible education in labor that could be offered. I would encourage every union member to attend "our" institutions of higher learning.


Bill Habel
IBEW 701

Bill Habel NLC graduate


For more information regarding the programs offered please visit, University of Illinois, Institute of Labor and Industrial Relations