26 Mar 2015 12:41 PM | Thomas Kochan

As some of you know, I will be offering a new MIT “MOOC” online course starting in mid-March that focuses on what we need to do to support the next generation’s efforts to secure their version of the “American Dream.” 


I wonder if you might pass on the link below to anyone who might have an interest in taking the course.  It describes the course via a video and written summary and has information on how to sign up for it.   The course is free and open to anyone interested.  I hope we get a good mix of young people—the next generation workforce—and more experienced workers and leaders who share a concern for these issues and for the legacy we might otherwise leave if we don’t take actions now.


Still time to sign up! Click HERE!

So please pass it on to your students, to other members of your local LERA Chapter, and consider signing up for the course yourself!


The course has a large number of videos, short readings (excerpted  and cut up from the draft text I’ve been working on), and lots of supplemental materials.  It will also have a very individually focused track that we call the  “Personal Development Corner” that will guide young people through a career development planning process.  Then we’ll end with a grand “Next Generation Social Contract” negotiation exercise to see if our students—divided into the roles of the next generation workforce representatives, business leaders, government officials, and educators—can agree on terms of a new and more up-to-date set of employment terms that work for all the parties concerned.


The first week of the course will feature an interview with our Secretary of Labor Tom Perez with his message of hope and advice to the next generation.  Then we define what we mean by the term social contract, we review the history of work (with a spiffy 3 minute animation), and we then focus on recent and current innovations at local levels—government, leading firms, and emerging forms of worker advocacy. 


As a parallel effort, I’ve developed a new website that has more materials relevant to these issues.  You can find it at


So, this will be an adventure and an experiment.  I hope it works and makes a difference. 


Please pass this on to anyone or to any groups in your network you think might be interested.


All the best,



Employment Policy Research Network (A member-driven project of the Labor and Employment Relations Association)

121 Labor and Employment Relations Bldg.


121 LER Building

504 East Armory Ave.

Champaign, IL 61820


The EPRN began with generous grants from the Rockefeller, Russell Sage, and Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundations


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