Nick Beadle

Nick’s journey to the program took a very different route. The Alabama native was an investigative journalist in Tennessee, covering municipal management and policy. But he said that there is a difference between being around things that are important and being able to act.

When he began a summer position at the department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, he saw for himself that if there was any place where he could have the opportunity to do something, it was here at the Labor Department.

Nick’s work at the Washington, D.C. National Office often overlaps with other Honor Attorney Program alum, as it has in Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act cases.

Nick has been very busy as a program and grants attorney with SOL’s Employment and Training Legal Services Division. Some of what he has been up to is building a first-of-its-kind grant program leveraging federal workforce funds to reconnect workers with opioid-use disorder to the workforce—decreasing their chances of relapse—and training workers in occupations that can impact the opioid crisis, such as alternative pain management and behavioral health.

Last year, Nick served as acting policy director of the Job Corps program, developing new COVID-19 protocols that allowed the program to safely expand enrollment for its students for the first time since the start of the pandemic. He also negotiated corporate partnerships and led the program’s efforts to improve equity.

“I grew up on public assistance in rural Alabama, watching my single mom struggle to make her own opportunities after the textile industry left our town. Time and time again, I saw people sorted away from the few opportunities there were as a simple consequence of being who they were, or just being human.

The most gratifying part of my work at the department is not only creating more opportunities but creating opportunities that account for the messiness of human life. The Honors Program not only provided me the opportunity to do this work, but by giving me a fulsome sense of how employment law and the federal government works, it equipped me with the tools to affect what I hope will be lasting change for people who need it most.”