College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences

Graduating MPA Student already Making a Difference

George Doctorian graduated from Cal Poly Pomona in 2014 with a degree in Political Science. During his senior year, he interned at United Association Local Union 250 in Los Angeles, which is the union representing stem-refrigeration and air-conditioning-pipefitter workers. For his internship he participated in the Local 250’s Political Action Committee, where he oversaw political research, analyzing legislative bills, and providing information to the PAC chair. As a result, George gained first-hand experience in community organizing and policy advocacy and learned about the challenges and opportunities of the labor movement in Southern California. Upon graduation, he obtained a full-time position as an administrative assistant at the Orange County Labor Federation (AFL-CIO). The OCLF is at the heart of the labor movement in Southern California: it is affiliated with over 80 local unions that represent around 200,000 workers in Orange County. As administrative assistant, George worked on political campaigns, conducted strategic research and legislative analysis, and helped local affiliates build power for working families. In 2017, he decided to go back to Cal Poly Pomona and obtain a graduate degree in public administration to improve his skills in statistical analysis and knowledge of policy formulation and implementation. 

For his MPA capstone project, George is using quantitative and qualitative analysis to examine impact of the Supreme Court decision, AFSCME V. Janus, on the ability of labor unions to effectively organize workers. The goal of his project is to develop an organizing toolkit that details the history and influence of the “Right-to-Work” legislation that came out of the AFSCME V. Janus decision, as well as best practices to combat other anti-union legislation at the federal, state, and local levels. He intends this toolkit to be utilized by local unions throughout Southern California, thereby impacting the lives of thousands of workers and their families. 

According to George, the research and writing skills he developed through the MPA program has allowed him to develop new insight on the intersection of labor relations, labor management, and labor policy in California. The work he produced as part of the MPA program has also taken him to the next step on his career path: he recently accepted a job with the Alliance of Health Care Unions, a Labor-Management Partnership with Kaiser Permanente, where he will serve as the Program Manager/Administrative Assistant for all of Southern California. As George says, “The MPA program has allowed me to excel in my career in the labor movement, and create a capstone project that will have a real impact on working people.” He will graduate with his MPA in Spring 2019.