UNC Charlotte alum Austin Halbert’s book “The American Workday” will cover important social and economic issues that affect workers across America today.

The inspiration for the book sprouted from his “frustration with the continuing divides in the United States,” said Halbert.

The disparities in income between different races, nationalities, and genders are highlighted in his work to show that this issue must be addressed.

“The idea behind The American Workday is to use storytelling to foster empathy, to foster unity,” said Halbert.

The book will showcase the personal stories of workers in 38 different occupations, from a custodian to a CEO. By sharing these firsthand accounts, Halbert hopes to defeat the misconceptions surrounding certain jobs and groups of people.

Halbert began writing the book as a student at UNC Charlotte, but he had a lot of help from his peers while attending school.

“Dozens of people in the university system came together to help bring these stories to life, helping connect me with interviews and so many other resources,” said Halbert.

Halbert found many of these connections through the Levine Scholars Program, in which he was able to intern with Carolinas Healthcare Foundation and Unilever, a consumer goods company in New York.

“Both organizations taught me how to execute strong business strategies with the goal of achieving a broader social impact,” said Halbert. “That fueled me to learn about how all businesses can leverage their resources for good.”

Halbert was also a member of the Business Honors Program and President of Enactus.

After his graduation, Halbert continued his studies with the help of a Fulbright Fellowship.

He chose to conduct research in Sweden that will help him write his second book.

In Stockholm, he interviews executives about their companies’ social impact.

“The aim is to find out what U.S. businesses can learn from the way companies operate in Scandinavia,” said Halbert.

Halbert is thankful for the organizations at UNC Charlotte that invested in him during his time here and for the connections it has brought him.

“When I started university a few years ago, I could have never imagined that these experiences laid ahead of me,” said Halbert. “Becoming a 49er was a good move.”TAWD Cover