The New Jersey labor movement has built the most successful labor candidates program in the country. Together, union members have achieved 687 election victories and will continue to champion working family issues. Graduates of the labor candidates program have sponsored and spearheaded some of the most progressive legislative policies in the country including: paid family leave, marriage equality, whistleblower protection, project labor agreements, tax equity, increases to the minimum wage and living wage ordinances, public sector card check, banning outsourcing of publicly funded service jobs, strengthing the WARN Act, and unemployment for lock-out workers.

The New Jersey State AFL-CIO Labor Candidates Program provides top notch training on a wide range of campaign skills from seasoned, successful political professionals. The program ensures that labor candidates seeking election to public office at every level of government are politically viable and committed to achieving progressive policy change in our workplace and in our communities.

Participants are awarded full scholarships by the New Jersey State AFL-CIO. The 16th Annual Labor Candidates School will be held on August 11 & 12, 2012 at the Rutgers University Continuing Studies Conference Center in New Brunswick.

Each union member seeking election or re-election to public office must complete the “Labor Candidates Survey” which can be completed online or sent to COPE Director John Shea, 106 West State Street, Trenton, NJ 08608, fax to (609) 989-8734 or email

Pursuant to the New Jersey State AFL-CIO Labor Candidates Resolution, union members seeking election to public office must secure the support of their local union’s presiding officer who shall then notify the Central Labor Council and the New Jersey State AFL-CIO. All non-incumbent Labor Candidates are required to graduate from the Labor Candidates School and be reviewed by the Central Labor Council before resources can be earmarked for his/her election campaign.

We look forward to achieving many more Labor Candidate election successes together.
In Unity,
Charles Wowkanech, President
Laurel Brennan, Secretary-Treasurer

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