What Is CIWO?

The Center for Innovation in Worker Organization (CIWO) is a “think and do tank” whose mission is the promotion of strong workers’ organizations. We seek to shift the balance of power towards greater economic and social equality. CIWO leverages the resources of a highly respected research university to create a centralized go-to institute for strategic and organizational development. Our primary objectives are to facilitate the generation and dissemination of ideas, strategies, and programs for newly emergent as well as established worker centers, community organizations, labor unions and their local, state and national networks.

Our Programs

BCG Group
Bargaining for the Common Good

Reinventing collective bargaining for the 21st century.

Build Bench Group
Build the Bench

Deepening ties between networks to build organizational strength and leadership

WILL Empower Group
WILL Empower

(Women Innovating Labor Leadership) A bold initiative to identify, train and convene a new generation of women labor leaders.

CIWO Wins New Jersey Future of Work Accelerator Innovation Challenge

We are so proud and grateful to announce that CIWO is among the 19 winners selected for the inaugural cohort in the New Jersey Future of Work Accelerator Program, which will support us in growing our work and social impact in New Jersey.  Read more at Insider NJ and ROI-NJ

Happening at CIWO:

2021 Womxn's Labor Leadership Symposium

Image of2021 Womxn's Labor Leadership Symposium

The inaugural WILL Empower Womxn's Labor Leadership Symposium will be held virtually on September 30 and October 1. The symposium will amplify the groundbreaking work that womxn leaders in the WILL Empower network and across worker justice movements are engaged in. Participants will have the opportunity to connect with others around key questions that we are all grappling with in this moment, and discuss important topics such as transformational leadership; leading in complex times; innovative organizing strategies, and much more! 


Nominations for the WILL Empower Awards are now closed

Image of2021 Womxn's Labor Leadership Symposium

The WILL Empower Awards are taking place on October 1, 2021 during the Womxn's Labor Leadership Symposium. 

Click here for more information.



Bridging Faith and Labor

photo of bridging faith and labor eventBCG Advisory Committee member Rev. Francisco Garcia appeared on a panel Monday, August 23 at 4pm CT, entitled, "Faith, Cooperatives, and Labor: Toward a Just Economy for All," sponsored by the Wendland-Cook Program in Religion and Justice. The event featured scholars and activists discussing faith-labor solidarity in the fight for economic justice. Register to watch the event recording on demand

Francisco's work is part of BCG's ongoing effort to build solidarity between faith and labor groups in our fight for the common good. Earlier this year, BCG hosted a webinar featuring leaders from a diverse group of faith communities, part of the emerging Interreligious Network for Worker Solidarity. We are committed to expanding the role of communities of faith in our ongoing organizing. 

Access a complete list of faith-labor resources here


Build the Bench has welcomed two CIWO Fellows for 2021:  Felicia Griffin (Partnership for Working Families) and Kathleen Gaspard (Institute for Policy Studies), who will also serve on the program's new Advisory Committee with Mackenzie Baris (Jobs with Justice), Aisha Satterwhite (Coworker.org), Chevalier Lovett (Florida Rising), Renata Pumarol (ACRE), Vivian Huang (APEN), and Beth Shipp (Caring Across Generations).


Bargaining for the Common Good has welcomed three new members to the Advisory Committee:  Cecily Myart-Cruz (UTLA), Rob Baril (1199 SEIU), and Rev. Francisco Garcia (Wendland-Cook Program on Religion and Justice at Vanderbilt University).  See the full BCG Advisory Committee here.


Black Womxn DemandsCalling Black womxn activists, trade unionists, feminists, leaders, and scholars into dialogue with one another to discuss current demands for economic, racial, gender, and LGBTQ+ justice for Black people and others. These dialogues invite everyone to listen closely to Black womxn demands and to learn much more about us, our scholarship, and our movement work.