Industry Councils:

Impacting Industries Nationally

Industry Councils represent a bold new initiative for the LERA, building on a long tradition of industry-focused analysis and publications by the Association. A network of tri-partite industry councils is organizing, with efforts already underway in

Enabled with a major grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, this initiative represents a key structural addition to the Association - complementing the work of the National Organization, the Local Chapters, and the various Sections that have been established.

Certainly, the competitive and employment dynamics of different industries warrant industry-specific analysis and action. This is a been a key motivation behind the efforts of the Sloan Foundation to establish a broad range of "Industry Centers" in different universities, as well as other support for the concept of "Industry Studies." In speaking to the LERA National Executive Board, the Sloan Foundation Program Officer for this initiative, Gail Pesyna, urged our Association to be bold in our efforts so that each Industry Council can have a positive impact on competitiveness and other societal outcomes in each industry.

To form a council, a charter needs to be submitted to the LERA National Executive Board with labor, management and third-party (government, neutral, academic) leadership, along with a list of charter members. The activities of the Councils will include a number of relevant LERA activities, such as meeting during the pre-session before the annual LERA national meeting, proposing one or more industry panel sessions for the Annual Meeting and the National Policy Forum, promoting dialogue on industry-specific issues on the LERA electronic listservs, contributing articles to the LERA newsletter or Perspectives on Work, and working with local LERA chapters on programming relevant to a given industry. In addition, the Councils may link with the Sloan Industry Centers and help advance key workforce issues in the industry, such as training, safety and quality.

The Industry Councils initiative is complementary to the various sections that have been established, including the Work and Employment Relations Network, which was also set up with support from the Sloan Foundation. This initiative is also well aligned with current efforts by the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS), the United States Department of Labor and other Federal agencies to address industry-specific matters. Where appropriate, an Industry Council may seek funding from foundations, its constituents, or other sources - with the aim of sustainable operations by each Council.

Members of the LERA interested in participating in a Council or helping to form a Council are encouraged to contact the LERA National office.