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First Impressions Matter.

New educators never forget the friendly face on orientation day who made them feel welcomed. Waling into a new school – or a new profession – is an exciting and overwhelming time.

Researchers agree. A joint study with Penn State University and the Jobs with Justice Education Fund suggests that effective orientation programs have an “outsized” and “lasting” impact on the strength of unions.

In the longitudinal study conducted in six states, new hires who attended a helpful orientation were more likely to feel a greater commitment to the union and were 35 percent more likely to participate in union activities.

Essentially, a good orientation is a smart and strategic way to connect with new hires, boost membership numbers and build a foundation for later activism.

On the flip side, an unhelpful orientation, or one thrown together at the last minute, can cast doubt about the union and make it even harder to recruit new members.

This guide offers step-by-step planning and some research-based best practices for putting together a successful orientation that sets the stage for growing and strengthening the union.

Strategies for Accessing New Hire Orientations