To honor its recently retired president, the Rochester Labor Council in 1997 established the Ronald G. Pettengill Labor Education Fund to inform and educate the greater Rochester community on labor issues and labor history, to further the labor movement, to enhance the skills and knowledge of area rank and file members, and to develop local labor leadership.
In 1998 an endowment account was set up through the Rochester Area Community Foundation which generates spendable interest and builds long-term capacity. In 2002 donors were given the option of contributing to the program account which provides immediate support to labor education projects.
To fulfill its mission the Fund supports a range of educational activities related to labor including Special Events (lectures, performances, exhibits, etc.), Workshops and Conferences, and Community-Based Projects. In its first years the Fund sponsored the following activities and projects:
The Ronald G. Pettengill Fund has benefited from the support of individuals, unions and friends of labor, including the Rochester legislative delegation, particularly Senator Mike Nozzolio who helped secure grant funding through the New York State Education Department.