Labor Studies

Jason Kozlowski Jason Kozlowski

WVU Extension Specialist –
Institute for Labor Studies and Research

Jason Kozlowski, Ph.D., got his start advocating for American working-class citizens, but now he educates and conducts research on workers and labor unions in West Virginia—and beyond—as West Virginia University Extension Service’s assistant professor for labor studies and research.

Kozlowski uses his far-reaching knowledge of American labor history and current topics of the American and global workforce to educate student workers about their rights and responsibilities in labor unions, as well as the impact of economic changes and political processes on their daily lives.

“The American labor force serves as a central part and driving force of our country’s economy, and West Virginia has hundreds of thousands of citizens who contribute to it,” he said.

Educating WVU students and community members across the state about America’s labor unions, Kozlowski helps them to learn in-depth about the country’s labor and economic history, and the path of American worker towards the future.

Kozlowski graduated with a Ph.D. in U.S. History from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2011. His emphasis was on labor and working-class history in the United States.

He has designed courses that are centered on topics such as images of labor in the media, collective bargaining and labor history.

“I strive to make the classroom a friendly space of vibrant discussion and debate about important subjects, with a premium placed on student participation and active learning,” Kozlowski said.

Many of the topics and themes discussed in his courses are directly relatable to real-life.

“In class, students learn very relevant concepts that can be applied to improve their lives and working conditions,” he remarks.

His current research deals with the relationship between globalization and the diverse populations of people in the workforce of the world economy, from gender and class, to race and nation.

Kozlowski is also an active supporter of West Virginia working-class organizations.

“My background as a union steward, official and activist has helped shape my interest in workers’ rights, work processes, collective bargaining, and labor’s role and representations in politics and media.”

Currently he serves as the chairperson of the West Virginia Labor History Week Coalition, an organization dedicated to enhancing and promoting West Virginia’s rich labor and working-class heritage.

Kozlowski is also a member of the Labor and Working-Class History Association, the United Association for Labor Education, the Organization of American Historians and the American Historical Association.

An avid runner, Kozlowski maintains a blog through WVU’s LiveWell West Virginia site.

Kozlowski can be reached at 304-293-5790, or by e-mail