May 20, 2013
Robert Roach Jr. '96
(NEW YORK CITY, – May 20, 2013) Robert Roach Jr. ‘96, general secretary-treasurer of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, will address the SUNY Empire State College Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Center for Labor Studies class of 2013.
The ceremony will take place at 6:30 p.m., Friday, June 14, Alfred Lerner Hall, 2920 Broadway, Columbia University, New York City.
On Jan. 1, 2012, Robert Roach Jr. was appointed the 11th general secretary-treasurer of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.
As general secretary-treasurer, Roach is responsible for directing the finances of the International Union, ensuring the IAM stays financially strong. He serves as co-chairperson of the IAM National Pension Fund and the IAM Health and Benefit Trust Fund.
Roach started in the IAM as a ramp serviceman for TWA in 1975 and was a member of Local Lodge 1056 in New York. Soon after, he transferred to Local Lodge 1445 in Newark, N.J.
Roach began his long and distinguished service to fellow members as a shop steward at Local Lodge 1445 and then became a trustee, vice president and president. He was elected District Lodge 142 trustee and became chairman of the district’s human rights committee in 1992.
Roach was subsequently appointed to several national service positions and as general vice president of the transportation department, he regularly testified before Congress about aircraft maintenance oversight, aviation safety and security, bankruptcy reform, employee pensions, industry consolidation and the state of the airline industry.
Roach also has served on committees of other national labor organizations, including the AFL-CIO, and currently serves as a member of the board for the Union Label & Service Trades Department.
He holds a B.S. in labor and management relations from SUNY Empire State College’s Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Center for Labor Studies and is both a graduate of the Labor Liberal Arts program and is currently enrolled in the Martin and Laurie Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution program at Cornell University School for Industrial and Labor Relations.
The college has had a special relationship with the labor movement from its inception, and the Center for Labor Studies, formed in 1971, the year the college was founded, was a product of that relationship.
Renamed in 1986 to honor Harry Van Arsdale Jr., who was instrumental in its creation, the Center for Labor Studies’ purpose always has been to provide trade unionists and other wage-earning adults access to a college education in a learning environment that celebrates and builds on their experience and achievements.
Labor studies students are largely union members, staff or officers, as well as human resource professionals, managers and those with an interest in labor/management relations in both the public and the private sectors.
Onsite and Online Options
Undergraduates can plan degrees in labor studies through the college’s Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Center for Labor Studies, located at 325 Hudson St., NYC, which includes one-to-one work with a faculty mentor and group study, or flexible online learning through the college’s Center for Distance Learning.
The Master of Arts in Labor and Policy Studies is designed for unionists, human resource professionals, arbitrators, educators, journalists, political activists, lawyers and those involved in government for private industry.
The primary concentration for this program is on current problems and policies generated by changes in the global economy, technology, the workforce and the workplace. This degree is only offered through the college’s School for Graduate Studies and requires a combination of online study, weekend residencies and one-to-one work with a faculty mentor.
Graduation contact: Jennifer Bent
Media contact: David Henahan, director of communications
518-587-2100, ext. 2918
518-321-7038 (after hours and on weekends)
David M. Henahan, Director of Communications 518-587-2100, ext. 2918 David.Henahan@esc.edu
518-321-7038(after 5 p.m. and weekends)