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Evergreen Cooperative in Cleveland

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Creating Not Just Jobs, But Wealth

The Evergreen Cooperatives of Cleveland, Ohio are pioneering a new paradigm of job creation and wealth building, and they have emerged as one of the country's most promising models of worker owned co-ops.

These employee-owned, for-profit companies are based locally and hire locally. They create green jobs, and the workers earn a living wage while building equity in their firms as owners of the business.

They think they can create 500- 600 jobs in the next few years.

Evergreen Cooperatives are a connected group of semi-autonomous businesses, each owned and controlled by its workers but part of a mutually supportive association, as opposed to the smaller, more fragmented worker co-ops that have existed in the U.S. for many years.

The first Evergreen Cooperative businesses are Evergreen Cooperative Laundry, Ohio Cooperative Solar, and Green City Growers Cooperative.

Ted Howard, one of the architects of the Evergreen Initiative proudly explains: "This is a laboratory for a new kind of economic development."

Brian Lee, worker/ owner at the Evergreen Cooperative Laundry says: "When you make money, and you spend your money where you make it, it gets to float around...and when it floats around, it benefits everybody that touches it."

--Bibi Farber