TOM ROBBINS: He knows whereof he speaks.

The Sidney Hillman Foundation, in conjunction with the City Univerisity of New York, is launching a training program to familiarize reporters with issues connected to labor and the world of work.

It will begin with a two-day event at CUNY’s Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism Jan. 9 and 10 that will be convened by Tom Robbins, the award-winning reporter best known for his work at the Village Voice, Daily News and New York Times who is the school’s Investigative Journalist in Residence.

Areas Covered

Classes over that two-day period are expected to focus on matters from covering labor relations to the way globalization, technology and climate change are disrupting work. Faculty members, including former New York Times labor reporter Steven Greenhouse; ProPublica’s Michael Grabell, who covers labor, economy and trade; and Sharon Block, the executive director of Harvard’s Labor and Worklife Program, will walk participants through how they covered stories and how to find and use government and corporate data. The curriculum will cover the National Labor Relations Act, the Department of Labor, and newly emerging employee organizations.

Alexandra Lescaze, executive director of the Hillman Foundation, said in a statement, “there is a work lens to nearly every story. Our goal is to give the reporters the expertise to bring this framework to their reporting and to identify these stories and cover them skillfully.”

Mr. Robbins noted, “More and more people labor at jobs without any safety net when it comes to what they are paid and their daily conditions of work. These are rich, important stories that need to be told and we want to provide journalists with some of the tools they need to help tell them.”

‘Strengthen Labor Coverage’

And Sarah Bartlett, Dean of the Newmark J-School, said that “we consider it an important part of our mission to offer in-depth training to mid-career reporters, particularly as business pressures on our industry have virtually eliminated that role for newsrooms. We’re thrilled to partner with the Hillman Foundation to ensure that labor coverage around the country is strengthened.”

The program, which covers all the participants expenses, is being funded by a donation from Jesse C. Crawford, the president and CEO if the Atlanta-based Crawford Media Services Inc.

Applications must be submitted by Nov. 25. For further information, contact Ms. Lescaze at 646-4486413 or at

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