Labor Specialist (Assistant Specialist)
Civic Capacity Research Initiative (CCRI) at UC Merced

Based in Merced, CA


The Civic Capacity Research Initiative (CCRI) at UC Merced is a new and fast-growing initiative to create a Community and Labor Center in the historic San Joaquin Valley. We are at the forefront of research and the convening of community, labor, faith and environmental groups around the region’s pressing inequalities. Our core team has a wealth of experience with successful, historic initiatives that have expanded the rights of those furthest on the margins—such as low-wage workers, undocumented immigrants, African-Americans, and the formerly incarcerated. We conduct research and education that facilitates civic capacity-building among San Joaquin Valley community-based and labor organizations, learning, collaborating, and engaging around issues that affect the region’s low-income workers and residents.

On behalf of the UC Merced Civic Capacity Research Initiative (CCRI), the Labor Specialist will conduct specialized research on issues related to the San Joaquin Valley region’s low-income workers and residents, and the environment. Under the supervision of the CCRI director, the specialist will: serve as a principal investigator, plan and execute research projects that build civic capacity among the San Joaquin Valley’s community, labor and environmental organizations; conduct data collection; analyze data; and write papers.

Research Design, Data Collection and Analysis (80%)

  1. Conduct research that examines issues faced by the San Joaquin Valley’s low-income residents and workers.
  2. Plan and execute research on issue areas relevant to San Joaquin Valley community-based organizations, labor organizations, and environmental organizations involved with “integrated civic engagement” (e.g. focus group interviews, needs assessment surveys, etc.).
  3. Collect data for a “repository” of public records concerning San Joaquin Valley community, labor and environmental issues.
  4. Analyze data concerning San Joaquin Valley community, labor and environmental issues.
  5. Participate in the writing of issue-based fact sheets, research briefs and reports, and academic papers.

Public Service (20%)

  1. Assist with the planning for an annual convening for San Joaquin Valley community and labor organizations, to advance initiatives and create partnerships serving the interests of low-wage workers.
  2. Provide research consulting for regional organizations using integrated civic engagement data, and managing needs assessment survey data.

The successful candidate will have a Master's degree in labor studies or a related discipline; or five years of applied work involving research and advocacy around community, labor or environmental issues.


  • Proven systematic organizational skills to a) work independently with minimal supervision, b) determine workload priorities and tasks to complete work in a timely manner, and c) identify and resolve problems. (Required)
  • Interpersonal skills to interact sensitively and to establish and maintain positive relationships with colleagues, students, community members, workers, organization directors, and elected and appointed officials from diverse social, cultural, and educational backgrounds. (Required)
  • Detailed knowledge of community, labor and/or environmental issues in the San Joaquin Valley. (Recommended)
  • Experience in conducting research relevant to the San Joaquin Valley's largest industries. (Recommended)
  • Experience using publicly available data sets, such as the American Community Survey data or California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development(OSHPD). (Recommended)
  • Experience with multiple research methods, including public records and statistics. (Recommended)
  • Experience with policy analysis and compliance-related processes. (Recommended)
  • Ability to communicate, write and edit with strong attention to detail and quality control, for scholarly, policy, and popular audiences. (Recommended)
  • Demonstrated written, oral, and visual communication skills to translate data and policy issues into easy-to-understand policy recommendations. (Recommended)

Salary is based on the University of California Academic Salary Scales with additional off-scale adjustments, totaling $60,900 annually.

This appointment is full-time with the possibility of renewal based on the availability of funding and satisfactory performance.

Represented by RA- Academic Researchers, United Auto Workers (UAW) 5810.

For a candidate to be considered, they must apply through the following link:

Interested applicants are required to submit 1) a cover letter 2) curriculum vitae 3) a short research statement and 4) names of at least three professional/academic references with contact information including mailing address, phone number and e-mail address submitted through AP Recruit during the application process.

Please contact Dr. Edward Flores (eflores52@ucmerced.edu) with any questions.

WHEN APPLYING: Be sure to indicate that you saw this information at UNIONJOBS.COM.