In the wake of the economic crisis, public interest in worker cooperatives has soared. From Jackson, Mississippi, to San Francisco, California, communities across the country are embracing worker-owned cooperatives as a response to ongoing social, economic, and environmental insecurity. In Austin, the city has become home to five new worker cooperatives in the last 5 years — with more in development — in industries ranging from residential cleaning to web development. But what is a worker co-op?
In this workshop, participants will develop a strong understanding of the worker cooperative model, exploring the structural elements that make co-ops distinct from conventional businesses, the principles and values of the cooperatives movement, as well as concrete examples of worker co-ops in and outside of Austin.
We deeply appreciate the many individuals who commit to building a new economy by donating to Cooperation Texas every month. Together, we are creating dignified jobs and a sustainable economy where workers have more ownership and control over their workplace and their lives. We thank you for valuing people and the planet over profit and partnering with us every month. To show our appreciation, we invite you have a drink on the house with us at Black Star Co-op on June 25th! Don’t forget to RSVP on Facebook. We can’t wait to catch up with you!
At the 2015 Austin Co-op Summit, Jon Lebkowsky of Polycot Associates spoke about the process of converting from a sole proprietorship business structure to a worker-owned cooperative. Cooperation Texas partnered with the Democracy at Work Institute to assist Polycot in their conversion. We love Polycot’s story and believe other businesses can take the same path to a humane, democratic, and sustainable business. If you or someone you know is interested in converting a business to a worker cooperative, contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org!
We are pleased to announce the release of Beyond Business as Usual: Putting Cooperation to Work in Austin, TX. This groundbreaking report explores the history, current impact, and potential of the cooperative economy in Austin. Based on over a year of research, the report examines the nature and benefits of the cooperative model and identifies barriers and opportunities for worker co-op development.
Beyond Business as Usualalso looks closely at the growing economic divide in Austin and how worker cooperatives can play a role in addressing these conditions as part of a more equitable approach to community economic development. The report can be downloaded for free from the Resources/Publications page. We encourage you to share the report with your friends, colleagues, and community, and invite you to get involved in upcoming opportunities to take action on the report’s recommendations.
Every month, a committed group of Texans make a donation to Cooperation Texas, contributing to the creation of dignified jobs that give workers more ownership and control over their workplace and their lives. Our MONTHLY SUSTAINERS are helping build a new economy in Texas that puts people and the planet over profit. We are deeply grateful for all of our MONTHLY SUSTAINERS. That’s why we want to celebrate YOU with a drink and food on the house at Black Star Co-op Pub & Brewery!
If you’re not a MONTHLY SUSTAINER of Cooperation Texas and would like to join in on the fun, sign up for as little as $10/month (or more!) before Thursday, March 26th, and get a free drink and food at our quarterly Sustainer Happy Hour at Black Star.