NFFE’s Young Federal Leaders: Looking Back and Planning for the Future
What started as a modest effort to amplify the voices of our young union members has quickly evolved into a mission to engage every NFFE unionist, regardless of age, in the task of protecting our great coalition of workers for generations to come. And while we realize that an undertaking of this magnitude will require passion and diligence from our elected officials and members throughout the country, as unionists we understand that everyone’s voice is valuable, and we cannot stop our work until all of the diversity of our union is represented at the table.
In the last two years we have made tremendous strides in our effort to build a young worker community. NFFE now boasts a young worker communications strategy, strategic plan, and a National Committee comprised of some of our union’s best and brightest members. Paired with our mentorship program and newly implemented YFL training sessions at the Winpisinger Center, our young members are better equipped than ever before to make an impact on this union. Although we’ve accomplished a great deal in a very short time, the work ahead of us is even more challenging and critical to accomplish.
With an infrastructure second to none, YFL has made it its mission to move out into the field and establish local chapters throughout the country. We recognize that this work cannot be done over the phone or in an office; for YFL to plant deep roots it must become a living breathing part of our Locals and our councils. To be sure, its success and growth depends on every Local leader and member rolling up their sleeves and working to develop a young worker program for their home Local. So what are you waiting for? Get started by working with your executive board and the NFFE National Office to start a local chapter, apply for a charter, or serve on YFL’s National Committee.
Now is the time to take ownership for the challenging task of building your local’s young worker community – the pay-off has never been higher! By engaging workers of all ages in your YFL local chapter, your lodge will be better able to cultivate knowledgeable, eager, and diligent members who will not only grow YFL, but your local as a whole. Together we will push ahead in our efforts to establish and strengthen local chapters, develop a strategic messaging plan to reach out to young workers, and most importantly, nurture the voice of young unionists throughout the country so that when they speak, our brothers and sisters in the Labor Movement and beyond will listen.
In its short history, our YFL initiative has overcome some significant challenges. Creating a path where none exist is difficult work. It is thanks to all of the committed unionists, both young and old, green and experienced, and all those in between, that YFL has found so much success in such a short time.
As the initiative continues to grow we will undoubtedly encounter more changes and challenges. One of those changes we are about to encounter is a changing of the guards in the NFFE National YFL Coordinator position. Amy Burns will no longer serve in this capacity as she is moving out into the field to serve as a National Business Representative. Carrying the torch behind her is Kalia Vang, NFFE’s new Staff Assistant and member of the family. With a background in activism and advocacy and a degree in Political Science from Georgetown University, Kalia is more than capable of taking on the challenge of growing our YFL initiative.
Please welcome Kalia and assist her in her work moving our young worker initiative forward! Learn more about NFFE’s Young Federal Leaders by visiting www.nffe.org/YFL.