Skip to main content

ATU Scholarship Competition for the 2024-2025 Academic Year in Memory of International President Emeritus James La Sala

This year’s scholarships are in remembrance of former International President Emeritus James La Sala, who passed away on October 8, 2022.

La Sala began his career in the transit industry as a bus operator for the Public Service Coordinated Transport of New Jersey in 1946, where he joined Local 824-New Brunswick, NJ, and was elected shop steward. He was subsequently elected Vice President, Financial Secretary and then, in 1962, President/Business Agent of the Local.

“Jim La Sala was a legend in the ATU. Under his leadership, he initiated and revived programs at the International that helped our Union navigate some of the most tumultuous years of its history, including our Greyhound strike,” said ATU International President John Costa.  

In 1968 La Sala joined the International staff as an International Representative. He was first elected an International Vice President in 1969 and was elected International Executive Vice President at the International Convention in 1981. When International President John Rowland retired in 1985, he recommended to the General Executive Board that La Sala become the International President and they elected him. He was formally elected International President at the 1986 Convention and was re-elected every three years until his retirement in 2003.

We hope the recipients of this year’s scholarships named in his honor, will use them in part to study union and community organizing, and grow to fight injustices everywhere.

This year, the program will consist of five scholarships each in the amount of $8,000.00. In addition, a $2,000.00, scholarship may be awarded to a technical or vocational school applicant. The application will be online starting December 15, 2023 at

Questions about the application process please contact Kayla Warner, Executive Assistant to the International Secretary-Treasurer at or 301-431-7100 ext. 232.