All posts by Murphy Institute

Opening with New Jersey Work Environment Council (WEC)

The New Jersey Work Environment Council (WEC) is a coalition of 70 labor, community, and environmental organizations advocating for safe, secure jobs and a healthy, sustainable environment. WEC seeks a full time, experienced Campaign Organizer based in our Trenton area office. The position begins in September or October 2014.

The person hired will organize and expand a dynamic grassroots advocacy campaign, Healthy Schools Now. The campaign focuses on ensuring that all New Jersey children and school employees learn and work in healthy, safe, and modern public schools. Focus will be on Schools Development Authority districts (formerly the “Abbott” districts.)

The Campaign Organizer will have these responsibilities:

  • Work with the Director and other staff to develop and implement campaign plans.
  • Maintain diverse coalition of key organizations, through in-person and telephone
  • contact, participatory campaign planning meetings, etc.
  • Speak at meetings of unions, community, and environmental organizations.
  • Coordinate messaging, press conferences, and other media events.
  • Organize actions, such as pickets and demonstrations.
  • Organize other grassroots activities, such as petitioning and postcard signing.
  • Communicate with legislators and other public officials.
  • Help identify, develop, and train leaders.
  • Provide training to parents and community stakeholders.
  • Assist with fundraising efforts.
  • Some administrative tasks to support campaign activities.
  • Participate in self-critical campaign assessment, as well as WEC staff meetings.


  • Demonstrated ability to build coalitions, recruit volunteer activists, mobilize action, and lead campaigns.
  • Excellent verbal and writing communication skills.
  • Competency in basic computer programs, including Microsoft Word and Excel.
  • A valid driver’s license and car access are required.
  • Ability to conduct outreach activities approximately two evenings a week (including
  • occasional weekends).
  • Bilingual (Spanish) is a plus.

We want a person with high energy and enthusiasm; that works well under pressure; can handle multiple tasks at once and can adapt to changing situations; is committed to social justice; and is a hard worker who recognizes that changing NJ is not a 9 to 5 endeavor.

Minimum of two years of organizing experience in grassroots and/or union organizing. Experience engaging and managing volunteers highly desired. Formal organizing training, such as by Midwest Academy, Center for Third World Organizing, etc., preferred. Fundraising experience is an asset.

The position is full time, based in Ewing, outside Trenton. Salary is commensurate with experience. Includes health care insurance. The position is covered by a collective bargaining agreement.

To apply, email a) a cover letter; b) resume; c) writing samples (and/or other supporting material), and d) three professional references (with contact information) to: Writing samples should reflect materials intended for a broad audience and relevant to this position. No phone calls please.

WEC is an equal opportunity employer. People of color, women, persons with disabilities, and LGBT individuals are urged to apply.
Union members who can take leave time for union-related leave of absence are also encouraged to apply.

WEC is the nation’s longest standing labor/environmental coalition and is the state affiliate of the BlueGreen Alliance, a national coalition of unions and environmental organizations.

Visit and for more information

Program Analyst at Urban Pathways in NYC

Founded in 1975, Urban Pathways provides homeless New Yorkers with the services and assistance necessary to become stable, develop their ability to live independently and move into housing, ultimately benefiting from the pride and security that comes with having a home. We are currently seeking a Program Analyst.

Under the supervision of the Deputy Executive Directors, the Program Analyst performs, coordinates and oversees technical and administrative duties, designs, prepares and generates required internal and external reports in accordance with UP and oversight agency policies, procedures and regulations, including monthly HUD, LOS, TAD, and Robin Hood reports. Analyzes data, and formulates recommendations for assembling, revising, retaining and presenting material, in accordance with funder and oversight agency regulations and standards. Responsible for project management, including independent research and recommendations, andworks closely with the Executive Assistant and may supervise clerical and other support staff, as well as perform other duties as assigned.


  • BA required.
  • Notary Public
  • 1 to 3 years related experience
  • Excellent calendar management skills, including the coordination of complex executive meetings
  • Strong knowledge of MS Office, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook
  • Ability to learn new computer programs (i.e., Awards, CAIRS, TAD, Adobe 9.0 pro)
  • Ability to type at least 50 words per minute
  • Good writing, analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Ability to communicate effectively
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team

TO APPLY: Send resume and cover letter in word format Use Program Analyst in Subject Line. Due to large volume of resumes, only qualified candidates will be contacted for interviewing.

NEW Program for Women

NEW (Nontraditional Employment for Women) prepares women for nontraditional careers in the construction, utilities, and transportation industries.

Through its innovative training programs, NEW graduates successfully compete for skilled blue-collar careers that enable women to achieve economic self-sufficiency.

NEW programs include a mix of hands-on shop skills, classroom instruction, physical fitness assessment, job development and placement services, social service referrals, and case management. NEW currently offers:

Blue Collar Prep and NEW at Night

After graduating from our pre-apprenticeship training program, NEW graduates enter apprenticeship programs and begin working in the construction, utilities, and transportation industries. Click here to find out what type of jobs are available to our graduates. 

Who can apply to be a NEW student?

Females that:

Are at least 18 years of age;
Have a high school diploma or GED (General Equivalency Diploma);
Are interested in pursuing a skilled blue-collar career;
Are willing and able to perform 8 hours of physical work; and
Want to change their lives.

Become a NEW Woman 

What makes skilled blue-collar work a good choice for women?

High pay. Wages in your first year will range from $10 – $17. Once a woman completes the apprenticeship program, she can earn as much as $45.00/hr.
Excellent medical benefits.
Pensions and paid annuities.
Training. Many blue-collar jobs offer technical classroom training as well as on-the-job training

NEW helps women face the challenges of working in a blue-collar field:

Construction work starts very early; NEW helps women find early morning childcare.
Blue collar professions are physically and mentally demanding. Most jobs require early hours and lots of lifting and carrying. NEW helps women prepare for these challenges.
Year-round outdoor work is required in most jobs.
Less than 3% of all construction workers are women. NEW provides a support system to help women prepare to work in a predominately male environment.

NEW will help you determine if you are right for this program and help you succeed in your new nontraditional career.

To learn more Click Here to Sign up for an Information Session

At the Information Session, you will be tested in basic reading and math skills.  Click here to see example reading questions and to take a practice test.  Click here to see example math questions and to take a practice test.

Teachout’s Teach Out

By Joshua Freeman

This election season has seen an unusually open battle regarding political strategy among New York unionists and progressives.  At stake is a crucial issue: how to balance the demands of building a movement that can fundamentally change a political and economic system that fails to serve most Americans against the existing political arrangements that benefit particular groups of workers. This was the key issue at the Working Families Party convention last May.

In 2010, the WFP backed Cuomo even as he attacked public sector unions and ran as a pro-business centrist. Once in office, he forced state workers to accept repugnant give-back contracts under the threat of mass layoffs, fought to lower taxes at the expense of services, and blocked various progressive initiatives.

This year, many WFP activists vowed not to go down the same road again. Continue reading Teachout’s Teach Out

Graduated, But Not Gone: Murphy Institute Alumni Network Meets

As the latest group of Murphy MA candidates prepared to graduate, a small group of alumni and alumni-to-be met to form a network. This first Murphy alumni meeting took place on May 19th at the Murphy Institute.

With the help of Murphy staff members, the group of MA program and Union Semester students discussed the prospects and possibilities for continuing alumni involvement in the labor studies arena at CUNY SPS. Continue reading Graduated, But Not Gone: Murphy Institute Alumni Network Meets

Sub: The View from the Teaching Underclass


By Joshua Freeman

Shortly after graduating college, when I thought we would seize state power in a couple months, or maybe a couple of years, I took a job as a substitute school teacher in Worcester, Massachusetts. Assigned to a junior high school — this was before the new-fangled middle school became the norm — I immediately found myself immersed in chaos, which somehow I was supposed to control. Kids raucously went about their business, whatever it might have been, paying no attention to anything I did or said. Bathroom passes and just about everything else flew off my desk, and I could not figure out how to stop the boys hiding in the coat closet from lighting matches without abandoning the rest of the class to total chaos — while all I really wanted to do was to get into the coat closet myself and light up a cigarette.

I lasted four days, or maybe it was three. My next job, in a factory making plastic Halloween pumpkins, seemed like a piece of cake in comparison. Continue reading Sub: The View from the Teaching Underclass