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Apply for the 2019 Union Plus Scholarship Program

As a UFCW member, you and your family are eligible for an exclusive scholarship through the Union Plus Scholarship Program!

The scholarship amounts range from $500 to $4,000. These one-time cash awards are for study beginning in the Fall of 2018. Students may re-apply each year.

Since 1991, the Union Plus Scholarship Program has awarded more than $4.2 million to students of working families who want to begin or continue their post-secondary education.

In 2018, 115 union members and union family members have been awarded scholarships totaling $150,000, including five UFCW members!

Over 2,800 families have benefited from our commitment to higher education. The Union Plus Scholarship Program is offered through the Union Plus Education Foundation.

Learn more about the Union Plus Scholarship Program and apply today!

Application deadline:   January 31, 2019.

Learn A New Language for Free

UFCW members can start learning Spanish, French, German, English, and/or Mandarin today.

To get started, please visit www.ufcw.org/language to fill out an inquiry form.

It may take a few days to verify your UFCW membership.  However, once confirmed, you will receive an email that explains how to login to and begin taking free foreign language classes.

As a member of UFCW, you can use this benefit to learn a foreign language for free online and at your own pace. All lessons are self-guided.

Visit ufcw.org/language to get started today!

Thank you for being a member of the UFCW union family.  We are proud to offer you this free foreign language benefit and we hope you enjoy it.

At this time, this benefit is only available to UFCW members and retirees.

Earn Your GED For Free Through UFCW

UFCW members can now take General Equivalency Diploma (GED) classes for free through Essential GED.

To get started, please visit www.ufcw.org/ged and complete the inquiry form.

Once you complete the online form, it may take a few days to verify your UFCW membership.  However, once confirmed, you will receive an email that explains how to login to and begin taking free GED classes.

This GED program offers a customized learning plan, so that you will be able to successfully prepare yourself to pass the GED test, regardless of when you last went to school.

This program also allows you to study at your own pace—classes are designed to fit your schedule and the program can be completed from your phone or tablet.

We created this benefit because our members told us they wanted us to provide more educational opportunities. We hope this program can help you build the better life you have earned and deserve.

Thank you for being a member of the UFCW union family.

Kaiser Nurses Attend College for Free Through Union-Negotiated Program

Local 400 shop stewards Lisa Golden (left) and Jennifer Brown (right) are pursuing college degrees at no cost thanks to a grant from the Ben Hudnall Memorial Trust, a union scholarship program available to Local 400 members working at Kaiser Permanente.

For most people, by the time your children are in college or beyond, you’re more likely to be thinking about retirement than education. But Kaiser shop stewards Lisa Golden and Jennifer Brown are not most people.

Jennifer currently has three children in college—a 24-year-old nursing student at Marymount University, a 21-year-old attending community college, and an 18-year freshman at Virginia Tech University. But she has joined them, pursuing a Master’s in Nursing Education at Colorado Technical University (CTU).  “We bond and commiserate over due dates and exams,” she said. “And we tease my husband and tell him to go back to college and do something. “

Lisa, who has raised three sons, with one still in college, also decided it was time to go back to school—first for a Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN) and now for a Master’s in Nursing Education.

And neither Jennifer nor Lisa is paying a penny to realize their dreams of higher education and career advancement—thanks to their union.

That’s because Local 400 and the other members of the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions negotiated the establishment of the Ben Hudnall Memorial Trust in the 2005 national bargaining. The Trust offers Kaiser union members grants for higher education and training, “with the goal of creating a culture that values and invests in lifelong learning and enhanced career development opportunities for represented employees.”

Several years ago, Lisa, the lead OB-GYN nurse at Kaiser’s Manassas Health Center, applied for and received a grant to pursue her BSN degree.  “I feel so blessed to work for a company that has the Ben Hudnall Trust and that my union offers this,” she said. “It is such an awesome opportunity and one that very few other companies have. I feel like pinching myself. Parenting has shown me the expense of higher education. How can you turn down free learning opportunities?”

“It took 16 months,” she said. “I loved being an adult learner. I had no idea I’d be as good a student as I was. But I discovered that now I have the patience to learn and none of the distractions of youth. I enjoyed almost every moment of it. And at the end, I said, ‘If they offer a Master’s program, I’d be a fool to pass it up.’”

Lisa is no fool. In January, the Hudnall Trust started offering commitment grants for Kaiser union members to get a Master’s Degree in Nursing Education. (Grants for a Master’s in Nursing Administration are also available.) And on April 3rd, armed with her grant, Lisa will start classes.

Lisa credits Jennifer, an OB-GYN nurse at Kaiser’s Woodbridge Health Center, with making her aware of this new opportunity. Jennifer started the same program on February 13th.

“When I came to Kaiser two and a half years ago, I had already gotten my BSN,” Jennifer said. “Unlike Lisa, I had to pay tuition for that because my employer didn’t offer any help. But as soon as I learned about the Hudnall Trust, I went to our education liaison and asked if it would cover a Master’s program. She told me to keep checking back, so I did—like a pest. And in January, they came through. The moment I heard, I picked up phone and said, ‘I want in!’”

Now nearing the end of her first class, Jennifer said, “Considering I haven’t been in school for a while, the experience has been pretty awesome. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I will tell you hands down that CTU is doing phenomenal job of guiding me through this.

“What’s especially nice is they make it easy for you,” she said. “There’s a great orientation course. Textbooks are provided for free in e-book form. They lend you a Chrome Computer with all the software you need for free. And best of all, the Hudnall Trust offers a stipend so if you need to miss one eight-hour shift a week to study, you’ll get paid for that, too.”

Before joining Kaiser, Jennifer was a senior regional trainer for the Patient First urgent care center chain. As she noted, “I have a natural passion for teaching and after I get my Master’s, I intend to be a nurse educator. My co-workers think I’m nuts; I’ve been telling them all to go to school. I don’t care what your position is, education is the key to everything, so when it’s free you’ve got to take advantage.”

Lisa couldn’t agree more, calling it a “no-brainer.” She also intends to be a nursing educator after she receives her degree. “Old dogs can still learn new tricks,” she said. “There’s no cap on age; you should learn the rest of your life.”

Lisa started at Kaiser in 1999. After providing medical advice for five years, she became a clinical nurse. And for the past nine years, she has served as shop steward. “Early in my career, I learned first-hand what my union could do for me, helping to resolve an issue I faced. Several years later, when I saw others weren’t getting a fair shake, I felt like I should be their voice, to help walk them through the process.

“I worked in a non-union environment before I came to Kaiser,” Lisa said. “It stinks. You have no rights and no voice. Coming to Kaiser and finding it’s a union shop, I thought, “Oh my God, there’s power here!’ I feel like we’re on equal ground when we go into a meeting and represent our members. We’re all equal partners. Not only do we get great pay and benefits, but most importantly, we have power in numbers and a seat at the table.

“Being a steward has been a really fulfilling experience,” she added. “It has helped me hone my management skills.”

Jennifer has been a shop steward for approximately two years, and most of her previous jobs were non-union, too.  “Working in other facilities, as nurses, we don’t have much of a voice in what we do and how we do it,” she said. “But I saw how we have a voice at Kaiser, thanks to our union, and being a steward was something I wanted to be part of.

“As a natural teacher, I take this role very seriously,” Jennifer said. “I make the rounds and let people know I’m available. When we get new staff, I talk with them about the benefits of being union. I try to be proactive and let people know not to wait until a small problem becomes big problem. When they come to me sooner rather than later, we can be a lot more effective when we intercede on their behalf. And I make sure they read their contract.”

Jennifer is proud to be a Local 400 member. “It means knowing that I have someone to fight for me, and to support our local and national agreements,” she said. “It’s nice to know the protection is there. And it’s nice to have the Labor-Management Partnership, which often works very well in our facility.”

Learn More About the Ben Hudnall Memorial Trust

Both Lisa and Jennifer strongly encourage Kaiser members to take advantage of the educational opportunities offered by the Hudnall Trust. To find out more, please visit the Trust’s website at www.bhmt.org.

For additional information, Virginia and Washington, D.C. members can contact Kaiser career counselor Mary Wiggins, M.Ed. at (510) 381-7033 or Mary.C.Wiggins@kp.org. Maryland members should contact Robin B. Kelly at (240) 298-8026 or Robin.B.Kelly@kp.org.

Earn A Debt-Free College Degree with the UFCW Free College Benefit

Spring is approaching—which means fresh strawberries, baseball season, and your chance to earn a debt-free college degree.

The UFCW Free College Benefit is a valuable part of being a member of our union family. Enroll by Friday, March 16, 2018 to start taking classes this spring.

The UFCW Free College Benefit makes it possible for you and/or your loved ones to earn an Associate Degree online through Eastern Gateway Community College, an accredited college in Ohio, with no out-of-pocket costs or need for loans.

This benefit is available exclusively to UFCW members, retired members, and family of members, including children, spouses, grandchildren, domestic partners, and dependents.

All you need to get started is a high school degree or GED.  Do not worry about studying for any entrance exams.

Here are some of the degrees you can earn with this benefit:

  • Business Management
  • Accounting
  • Paralegal
  • Early Childhood Education

Visit the UFCW Free College Benefit website to learn more and enroll in classes at ufcwfreecollege.org.

Apply for the UFCW Charity Foundation Scholarship by May 13

In 2018, the UFCW Charity Foundation will award several scholarships, up to $8,000 each, to UFCW members or their unmarried dependents under the age of 20.

The UFCW is about workers coming together to build better lives for themselves. It is about creating opportunity.

That’s why every year the UFCW Scholarship Program offers scholarships to UFCW members or their immediate family members who want to further their education and demonstrate a commitment to their communities and to UFCW values.  Since 1958, the fund has distributed more than $2 million in scholarships.

Past winners have gone on to make significant contributions to society and to the UFCW – entering a range of fields including public service, medicine, law, business and teaching.  Many have returned to the UFCW as staffers, organizers, and community activists who contribute to our mission. See the 2017 scholarship winners here.

For more information, and to find out if you are eligible, please visit: www.ufcwcharityfoundation.org/scholarship

The deadline to apply is May 13, 2018.

 

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Apply for the Union Plus Scholarship Program

As a UFCW member, you and your family are eligible for an exclusive scholarship through the Union Plus Scholarship Program!

The scholarship amounts range from $500 to $4,000. These one-time cash awards are for study beginning in the Fall of 2018. Students may re-apply each year.

Since 1991, the Union Plus Scholarship Program has awarded more than $4.2 million to students of working families who want to begin or continue their post-secondary education.

Over 2,800 families have benefited from our commitment to higher education. The Union Plus Scholarship Program is offered through the Union Plus Education Foundation.

Learn more about the Union Plus Scholarship Program and apply today!

Application deadline:  12:00pm (noon, Eastern Time), Wednesday, January 31, 2018.

Apply Now for a $5,000 Scholarship from Ashcraft & Gerel

** UPDATE – DEADLINE EXTENDED TO APRIL 2, 2018 **

Did you know? As a member of Local 400, you have the chance to receive a $5,000 scholarship for you or an immediate family member.

For more than 30 years, the law firm of Ashcraft & Gerel, LLP has been offering union members and their families throughout the Washington, D.C. area the opportunity to alleviate the stressors that come with paying for the high cost of education.

Each year, the law firm awards a one-time grant of $5,000 to an eligible student for education expenses. That student could be you or an immediate family member!

To obtain your application, please contact Liliana Chang at 703-931-5500. Deadline to apply is April 2, 2018.

If you, your spouse or child, plan to pursue education or training full-time, we encourage you to apply. Please remember, all applicants must be enrolled for their post-high school education or training by Fall of 2017 to be eligible for this year’s award.

A committee of union volunteers screens the applications, and an independent party selects a finalist. No one at Ashcraft & Gerel, LLP participates in the selection process. This is an equal opportunity program, conducted without regard to race, gender, religion, age or disability.

If you have further questions, please contact Liliana Chang at 703-931-5500.

Looking for more union member-only scholarship opportunities? Visit our scholarship page.

Free College Benefit for UFCW Members and Families

Earn a Degree for Free! The UFCW Free College Benefit Plan Opens Doors of Opportunity for Members

Every day, we are working hard to provide you—and every single one of our members—with real and powerful benefits that can help you achieve the better life you have earned and deserve.  One valuable example of this is the UFCW Free College Benefit.

The UFCW Free College Benefit makes it possible for you and/or your loved ones to earn an Associate Degree online through Eastern Gateway Community College with no out-of-pocket costs and no need for loans. There are no tuition, fee or e-book charges—saving you thousands of dollars!

This benefit is available exclusively to UFCW members, retired members, and the families of members, including children, spouses, grandchildren, domestic partners, and dependents.

The Free College Benefit covers any amount for tuition, fees or books that Is not covered by federal or employer education grants.

Best of all, the UFCW Free College Benefit is designed to help you balance work and home life.  You can attend school part-time or full-time – whichever fits your schedule.  All you need to get started is a high school degree or GED. There are no entrance exams to worry about.

Programs you can apply to include:

  • Business Management
  • Accounting
  • Paralegal
  • Early Childhood Education

Visit the UFCW Free College Benefit website to sign up or learn more.

Apply Now for a $5,000 Scholarship from Ashcraft & Gerel

Did you know? As a member of Local 400, you have the chance to receive a $5,000 scholarship for you or an immediate family member.

For more than 30 years, the law firm of Ashcraft & Gerel, LLP has been offering union members and their families throughout the Washington, D.C. area the opportunity to alleviate the stressors that come with paying for the high cost of education.

Each year, the law firm awards a one-time grant of $5,000 to an eligible student for education expenses. That student could be you or an immediate family member!

Download the application and apply today! Deadline to apply is April 21, 2017.

If you, your spouse or child, plan to pursue education or training full-time, we encourage you to apply. Please remember, all applicants must be enrolled for their post-high school education or training by Fall of 2017 to be eligible for this year’s award.

A committee of union volunteers screens the applications, and an independent party selects a finalist. No one at Ashcraft & Gerel, LLP participates in the selection process. This is an equal opportunity program, conducted without regard to race, gender, religion, age or disability.

Please download the application here. If you have further questions, please contact Liliana Chang at 703-931-5500.

Looking for more union member-only scholarship opportunities? Visit our scholarship page.