Unemployment and Low-wage Work in Post-COVID New York State
Ian Greer’s main task in 2020-21 is to build and formally launch ILR Ithaca Co-Lab, where he is the inaugural director. The purpose of the Co-Lab is to promote community-engaged learning and research in upstate New York on a range of labor-related topics, much of it in collaboration with the existing Buffalo Co-Lab.
Over the past three years, students have been mobilized to do research and support low-income people directly through two OEI-sponsored projects: Learning through Advocacy, with Legal Assistance of Western New York, and Employment and a Cornell Anchor Mission, with Cornell Cooperative Extension. Students have also worked with the Tompkins County Living Wage Working Group, gathering and analyzing data to support deliberations of employers, elected officials and community activists over a county-wide minimum wage increase. Community-engaged learning takes place in the context of an engaged learning course, summer internships, Worker Institute fellowships during the semester and individualized courses of independent and directed study. One aim is to create a better structure for community-engaged learning within the Co-Lab, with improved logistics and assessment.