Nov. 29, 2006

ILR symposium launches 2006-07 student internship program to study unemployment

An interdisciplinary symposium of Cornell faculty will help launch the 2006-07 Department of Labor-Alliance of Prevention of Unemployment (DOL-APU) student internship program Friday, Dec. 1, from 1 to 6 p.m. at the School of Industrial and Labor Relations in 105 Ives Hall. The symposium is free and open to all Cornell students, faculty and staff, as well as regional staff of the New York State DOL.

The program is an invitation to Cornell students to apply for internships in the DOL-APU. Cornell's ILR and Law schools as well as the Cornell Career Center will handle recruitment, and the core audience will be some 12 new interns, said Harold Oaklander, ILR '52, and professor emeritus of management at Pace University, who is helping to organize the Cornell event. Oaklander said speakers will address various aspects of the U.S. unemployment system and examine critical human resource issues masked by the labor department's official unemployment statistics.

"This meeting is but one of several nationwide recently organized to discuss the increasingly critical issue of unemployment in the United States," Oaklander said. He added: "The 'thousands of one-stop job-careers' scattered within 50 state labor departments are rich and relatively untapped laboratories for socio-economic study and research. The DOL-APU internship program gives Cornell students a truly unique opportunity during winter intersession to be mentored by NYS and Massachusetts DOL supervisors. In turn, the student interns assist the professionals by finding decent jobs for deserving workers and by helping employers connect with competent workers."

Opening remarks at the symposium will be provided by Harry Katz, dean of the ILR School. Cornell Law School Dean Stewart Schwab will then speak on "The Common, Statute and Cultural Laws of Mass Dismissal." Other speakers include:

Michele Moody-Adams, vice provost for undergraduate education and professor of philosophy, will moderate a panel discussion on "Ethical Considerations in the Battle Against Unemployment"; participants will include Janet Shortall, associate director of Cornell United Religious Work; Richard Burkhauser, professor of human ecology; and William Sonnenstuhl, ILR associate professor and co-director of the Smithers Institute for Alcohol-Related Workplace Studies. Concluding remarks will be provided by Louis Jacobson of the CNA Corp. for research leading to national employment policy, and by Susan Fleck of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. For more information contact Maralyn S. Edid, senior extension associate, or call (607) 255-4380.