Capital District Area Labor Federation

Kathleen Scales

Kathleen Scales is the Executive Director of the Capital District Area Labor Federation (CDALF) where she has been employed since 2001. In the role as Executive Director, Kathleen oversees the staff and programming of the Federation which provides hands on leadership in the implementation of the political and legislative agendas of the CDALF and its parent organization the AFL-CIO in the 11-counties of the Greater Capital Region. She and her staff are also responsible for coordinating assistance and fight back activity for contract and organizing campaigns of local unions and any national and state AFL-CIO program work that needs to be done throughout the year.

Prior to the Federation work, Kathleen held a number of positions at the Public Employees Federation (PEF) where she was employed for 14 years. Starting as a Secretary in the Public Relations in 1987, over the years, Kathleen was able to move up into the professional unit and she worked in both the Health and Safety and Field Services Departments.

Kathleen served as Financial Secretary of her local union, the United Steelworkers of America 9265 for 10 years. During contract negotiations with PEF, she co-chaired the SWAT (Steel Worker Action Team) committee. No surprise she chose the streets rather than the negotiating table.

Also while at PEF, Kathleen got her bachelor’s degree in Labor Relations from SUNY Empire State College and went on to get a Masters Degree in Labor Studies at UMASS Amherst. She is also a graduate and instructor of the AFL– CIO’s Leadership Institute. Kathleen served as delegate to the Albany County Central Federation of Labor until being hired by the CDALF in 2001.

Kathleen is the President of the Capital Region Workforce Development Center, the non-profit arm of the CDALF that focuses on bringing labor and the community together to make the lives of all working families better. She also sits on the Greater Capital Region United Way Labor Advisory Committee.

Kathleen is a recipient of the Jim Perry Progressive Leadership Award from Citizen Action and the Francis Perkins Award from the Eleanor Roosevelt Legacy Committee.

Kathleen resides in Albany with her husband Roger. She is the proud mother of three and grandmother of three.

Fighting for social and economic justice is a way of life for her. She has benefited so much from the labor movement and tries everyday to give a little back.

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