December 20, 2016

Chicago (December 20)—The Chicago Federation of Labor (CFL) is once again announcing that applications are now available for their William A. Lee Scholarships. The CFL will award 10 college scholarships to high school seniors, valued at $2,000 each. Five of the scholarships will go to winners of the Academic competition and five will go to winners of the Random drawing.

The William A. Lee Memorial Scholarship was created to show high school seniors that the Labor Movement stands in solidarity with them as they continue their educational pursuits.

To that end, the CFL has restructured the scholarship program for 2017 to include a short essay section on the application where applicants will answer the question: How has the Labor Movement impacted my life?

CFL hopes that this new section of the application allows candidates, after writing the 500-word essay, to better understand and appreciate how the Labor Movement gives a voice to workers, creates better standards and fights to protect workplace democracy.

“I’m thrilled with the new section of the CFL William A. Lee scholarship application,” said SMART-TD Illinois State Director Bob Guy. “It will hopefully allow for the son or daughter of a union member to contemplate what their parent’s union does for them and their family.”

The applicant, or his/her parent, must be a member in good standing with a union affiliated with the CFL, and all applications must be signed by one of the top officers of the member’s local union.

“This program is now available to all SMART-TD members in the Chicago region,” said Guy. “Since all of our Chicago area Local’s are now affiliated with the CFL, college aged children of our members now have access to this wonderful opportunity, and that’s just another benefit of being affiliated with your local Central Labor Council (CLC).”

Applications and details of the William A. Lee Scholarship are now available online at CFL’s homepage at Once on CFL’s website you can click on “Union Resources” to find the information needed about the Lee Scholarship program and to download the application.

The application deadline is Wednesday, February 15, 2017.

Applicants are reminded to either apply for the Academic Scholarship or the Random Drawing Scholarship. Applicants attempting to apply in both categories will be disqualified.

“As Governor Bruce Rauner continues to hold higher education funding hostage to his anti-union ‘Turnaround Agenda’ budget demands,” said Guy, “it’s nice to know that the CFL and Labor in general continues to step up to support working families and union members to help provide assistance with the daunting monetary expense associated with a quality college education.”

If you need help with accessing the Lee Scholarship application or have questions regarding the application process please call the SMART-TD Legislative Board office at 312-236-5353.