Evergreen Collectives, a Cleveland-based umbrella organization has created worker owned companies doing solar installations, green commercial laundry for hospitals, and a large scale urban farm…and is being replicated elsewhere in the US.
Worker-Owned Collaboratives in Cleveland & Rochester: A Model of Small Business Development
Cleveland’s Evergreen Cooperative is located in Greater University Circle, a neighborhood with a median household income below $18,500. Evergreen teamed with several nearby anchor institutions — The Cleveland Clinic, Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals — to boost entrepreneurship for locals. The effort led to the creation of worker-owned businesses such as a laundry service for medical bed linens, a solar energy installation company and a large-scale urban farm, as well as growth in the healthcare industry and development in the neighborhood itself. Click here for more on this worker-owned business model.
Rochester: Inspired by Cleveland’s Evergreen Collectives, Rochester sent a delegation to Cleveland, obtained a $100K grant from Cleveland and developed a worker collective model for Rochester. From Next City: “It’s about being able to give employees an opportunity to have ownership and to build wealth within their own communities,” says Warren. The plan consists of supporting the creation or growth of cooperatively owned businesses located primarily in the city’s most distressed neighborhoods, collectively known as the Northern Crescent. Click here to read more about something that worked in Cleveland, is working in Rochester, and could be replicated here.
A National Initiative for Economic Justice
The Nation Magazine just published a report on a new initiative sponsored by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand that would guarantee every American a job with funding for the initiative coming from a 5% increase in income taxes on those earning over $200,000 a year. Modelled after programs in South Korea, India and Venezuela, Hildebrand comments, the concept has broad support in the US (left). “Guaranteed jobs programs, creating floors for wages and benefits, and expanding the right to collectively bargain are exactly the type of roles that government must take to shift power back to workers and our communities,” she said. “Corporate interests have controlled the agenda in Washington for decades so we can’t tinker at the margins and expect to rebuild the middle class and stamp out inequality. We need to get back to an economy that rewards workers, not just shareholder value and CEO pay.” Click here for more.
Paul & Roxanne
Our pal, MaryAnn Shaening questioned whether I could discipline myself to stick to 1000 words: Today = 998 😉