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The Labor Movement in Hershey: The 1937 Strike and the Italian Community Influence

Tuesday, September 26th | 6:30pm

Presented by Louis Paioletti

Please RSVP to to ensure a place. Seating is limited to 90. Free, but admission donations to the Hershey History Center are appreciated.

The April 1937 sit-down strike by workers at the Hershey Chocolate Corporation was one of the most significant events in our township’s history. As the first-known confectionery company sit-down strike in the nation, and the first sit-down strike in PA, it encompassed traditional labor issues, discrimination, radicalism, deep division, and orchestrated violence. Local Italian American history enthusiast Lou Paioletti will give a unique perspective of the widely unknown details of this event, factors that led to it, and its impacts on the company and community.


Since 1989, Lou has been employed at Phoenix Contact Inc., a global leader in the development and manufacturing of industrial electronics and controls, as well as comprehensive automation solutions. He started his career in marketing with the company, spending several years developing and working with the distributor sales network. In 1998, he moved to the operational side of the business and currently serves as Senior Director, Supply Chain Services.

Lou holds a BS in Marketing from Penn State Harrisburg and an MBA from Temple University. He has served on the adjunct faculty at Penn State York since 2003 and Penn State Harrisburg since 2016. He received the Penn State York James H. Burness Award for Excellence in Teaching for the 2019-2020 academic year. He is a member of the Penn State Harrisburg Board of Advisers, where he serves as vice-chair of the faculty research and outreach committee, is a member of the Penn State Harrisburg School of Business Administration advisory board, and is chair of the school’s Project and Supply Chain Management program advisory board. He has been a guest presenter and panelist at several supply chain forums.


In the local community, Lou is serving his fifth consecutive term as Derry Township Tax Collector and is on the board of directors of the Hershey History Center. He has a special interest in local Italian American history and has given detailed presentations on the subject matter. Lou proudly holds dual US-Italian citizenship.


Hershey History Center

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