About Us

Our Mission

The Bureau of Labor Education (BLE) was established in August 1966 with an appropriation from the 102nd Maine Legislature and an official charge by the Trustees of the University of Maine directing that “appropriate and specialized educational programs (be made) available to members of the Maine labor force, both organized and unorganized.” The Bureau is a department within the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. The educational activities and resources of the BLE focus on providing Maine’s working people with information and knowledge designed to help them assess their own situation in relation to their history as working people and the economic, political, and social environment in which they live.

By working to fulfill its mission, the Bureau combines the three functions of the University – research, teaching, and public service – to provide an important segment of society with the opportunity for greater involvement in the life and affairs of the community, state, and nation.

Advisory Board

  • Sonya Birthisel, Director of the Wilson Center at the University of Maine
  • Nathan Godfried, Professor of History, Emeritus at the University of Maine
  • Lisa Henderson, President of the Associated COLT Staff of the University of Maine, MEA
  • Michael Higgins, Staff Representative, United Steel Workers, District 4
  • Heidi Holst, Outreach Coordinator, Maine Department of Labor
  • Troy Jackson, President of the Maine Senate
  • Jack McKay, President of the Eastern Maine Labor Council, AFL-CIO
  • Laura Petersen, Student, University of Maine
  • Cynthia Phinney, President of the Maine AFL-CIO
  • Stefano Tijerina, Lecturer in Management at the University of Maine Business School
  • Philip Trostel, Professor of Economics at the University of Maine
  • Trent Vellella, President of the Bath Marine Draftsmen’s Association, United Auto Workers Local 3999