MCLA Sociology Professor to Teach Class on "Education and Labor" in Pittsfield's Education Center at Conte This Spring


NORTH ADAMS, MA - This spring, Dr. Len Paolillo, a sociology professor at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA), who has held union leadership positions at local, state and national levels, will teach a course on "Education and Labor" at the Education Center at Conte, inside of the Silvio O. Conte Federal Building in downtown Pittsfield.  

The course, which will take place on Wednesdays from 4 to 6:30 p.m., will start on Jan. 25, 2012 and run through May 9, 2012. Registration begins on Dec. 1. 

According to Paolillo, "Education and Labor" (SOCI 395) has much to offer students who are interested in the status of education in this country. Through this course, students will gain a much better understanding of the union movement in the United States and how education unions have affected educational policy in the United States, for pre-Kindergarten through graduate school, he said.   

"They also will get a better understanding of collective bargaining in education and what that means for understanding the mission of the National Education Association (NEA), which advocates for education professionals and unites its members and the nation to fulfill the promise of public education to prepare every student to succeed in a diverse and interdependent world," Paolillo said.  

"Education unions don't just try to help adults. They are to help our students," he added. "That is why, when we talk about education, we talk about education funding, and having small class sizes and the proper technology in schools." 

Paolillo has served on the executive committee of the NEA, the largest union in the U.S. He also chaired the NEA's legislative committee, which sets the legislative priorities for the NEA. 

A member of the MCLA Faculty Association since he began working at the College in 1972, Paolillo has served as a negotiator on the Massachusetts State College Association. He is a past chapter president and a former president and vice president of the Massachusetts State College Association, as well as having served as MTA vice president, on the NTA executive committee and the MTA board of directors. He also served on the NEA Board of Directors for six years.

The Education Center at Conte serves MCLA, Berkshire Community College (BCC) and the Berkshire Readiness Center. It features 4,700 square feet in college classroom, office and meeting space. Part of a unique agreement with the U.S. General Services Administration, it's the first time that space for public higher education has been allocated inside a federal building.  

Its location provides convenient access to students who normally commute to North Adams from the Pittsfield area, as well as adult learners who may work in central Berkshire County, according to Kelly Jourdain, program coordinator of MCLA's Division of Continuing and Professional Education. 

In addition to the new Center, MCLA students also can take classes in Pittsfield at the Intermodal Education Center, which operates at a capacity of more than 2,200 people a year. 

For more information about classes at the Education Center at Conte, go to For information about the graduate classes in Education, contact MCLA's Education Department office, 413-662-5381, or the Registrar's office, 413-662-5095. To learn more about undergraduate courses held at Conte, call Jourdain at 413-662-5576.