Labor Education Service (LES) is the primary educational outreach component of the Land Grant University of Minnesota serving working men and women of the state and region in the areas of labor relations and labor studies. The mission of the Labor Education Service is to equip workers, union officials and labor organizations with the knowledge-based tools to protect and advance their rights and responsibilities in a changing global socio-economic environment. Through these efforts, the Labor Education Service fosters economic vitality, ethical relations, and social justice in the workplace, at home and in the community.

  • State of the Unions 2018

    The State of the Unions 2018

    A Profile of Unionization in Minnesota and in the United States

    Unions play a vital role in Minnesota’s economy and communities. The Minnesota labor movement, however, will continue to face both short- and long-term challenges due to the political environment, the makeup of the United States Supreme Court, and broader economic trends. Labor’s response to these challenges will define its influence and effectiveness in the years to come and will be critical to the survival of Minnesota’s middle class.PDF iconState of the Unions 2018 (763.69 KB)


    Jill Manzo, Midwest Economic Policy Institute

    Monica Bielski Boris, Ph.D., University of Minnesota

    Frank Manzo IV, M.P.P., Illinois Economic Policy Institute

    Robert Bruno, Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

  • Educated union member button

    The 2018 Labor Skills Classes begin Friday, November 16, 2018

    This semester's schedule includes Addressing Workplace Bullying and Sexual Harassment, Public Sector Labor Law and Organizing in a Post-Janus World, Collective Bargaining, Grievance Handling, Basic Arbitration, and Labor and the Fight for $15.

Labor Studies Skills Courses

These non-credit courses provide a foundation in "nuts & bolts" areas important to working people. Classes are open to all. Sessions are held on the West Bank of the University's Minneapolis campus. For more information call 612-624-5020 or e-mail

Minnesota Union Leadership Program

Now in its ninth year, the Minnesota Union Leadership Program (MULP) helps unions develop and strengthen leaders, equipping participants with the knowledge and skills to address the challenges facing the labor movement.  

Media Services

The Labor Education Service is unique among American labor education programs in offering an array of general and customized media services. They include video production, Internet services, and the Workday Minnesota website.

Women's Programs

The Labor Education Service provides an on-going series of opportunities for working women to enhance their leadership skills and network on issues important to them. To participate in planning women’s events, contact the LES office, 612-624-5020 or e-mail us.

Customized Training

LES offers customized education to union locals, councils and districts in a broad number of subject areas, all specifically tailored to your union's and members' needs. We are available to bring the education to you or offer training in an on-campus setting. Training is also available in any number of time formats: weekdays/evenings or weekends.