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New York City Network of Worker Cooperatives


NYC Worker Cooperative Business Association

(646) 363-6311 / info@nycworker.coop

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New York City Network of Worker Cooperatives


NYC Worker Cooperative Business Association

(646) 363-6311 / info@nycworker.coop

Often times minimum- and low-wage jobs do not provide enough of an economic boost to provide upward mobility for many New Yorkers. Worker cooperatives are designed to help build assets and wealth among low-income individuals and communities, and create entrepreneurs and community leaders. This initiative will target the long-term unemployed and the growing number of under-employed and discouraged workers in high-needs neighborhoods.
— New York City Council

Working with Government

In June 2014, New York City Council made the largest pledge of government support for worker cooperative business development in U.S. history. At $1.2 million, the NYC Worker Cooperative Business Development Initiative will fund a community of nonprofit support providers to build new businesses, support existing businesses, and expand the promise of workplace democracy to hundreds of low-income residents throughout the five boroughs.

Dedicated funding will also support the transition of existing businesses to democratic employee ownership--which thereby preserves jobs for New York City residents and improves job quality.

In addition, Mayor de Blasio, Public Advocate James, and Manhattan Borough President Brewer issued proclamations in support of NYC NOWC and workplace democracy. They also announced official recognition of "NYC Worker Cooperative Day" on June 21, 2014.

Finally, over the past year, NYC NOWC and other community partners have engaged in detailed discussions with NYC Small Business Services, NYC Economic Development Corporation, and City Council Members to improve City support for worker cooperative businesses and to expand contracting opportunities for democratic employee-owned businesses.

NYC Small Business Services is now offering a free entrepreneurship training on worker cooperative business and supplies its service centers with this informational brochure.

Read here for more details

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Growing Employment


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Growing Employment


New York City is currently home to approximately 40 worker cooperative businesses. We are proud that our worker-members are highly diverse in age, ethnicity, and socioeconomic background—and inclusive of the LGBTQ community. That said, our members are predominantly Latinas of Caribbean, Mexican, or South American origin.

Our largest worker cooperative is Cooperative Home Care Associates, a nationally recognized, worker-owned home care agency in the Bronx. CHCA was founded in 1985 to provide quality home care to clients by providing quality jobs for direct-care workers. CHCA started with 12 home health aides. The cooperative now employs more than 2,500 staff. Together with PHI, a nonprofit founded by CHCA in 1992, CHCA maintains an employer-based workforce development program that provides free training for 600 low-income and unemployed women annually and serves as a significant driver of employment in the Bronx.

Si Se Puede! Women's Cooperative was founded in Sunset Park, Brooklyn in August 2006 to bring together immigrant women to create a women-run, women-owned, eco-friendly housecleaning business. The worker cooperative is designed to create living wage jobs that will be performed in a safe and healthy environment, as well as to provide social supports and educational opportunities for their members.

Palante Technology Cooperative works to help non-profit, progressive organizations move forward with the aid of technology. They come to this work with technical expertise, a deep understanding of the particular needs of community organizations, and a long-standing commitment to working for social justice.

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Improving Our Democracy


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Improving Our Democracy


If democracy is justified in governing the state, then it must also be justified in governing economic enterprises; and to say that it is not justified in governing economic enterprises is to imply that it is not justified in governing the state.
— Robert Dahl, Political Scientist
A democratic firm is a
company “owned” and controlled by all the people working in it. A market economy where the predominant number of firms are democratic firms is called an
economic democracy.
— David Ellerman, Economist
A business under economic democracy is regarded not as a thing to be bought or sold, but as a community. When you join a business, you receive the rights of full citizenship—namely, an equal vote in the community.
— David Schweickart, Philosopher
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Photos


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Photos


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News


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News


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Services


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Services


Free initial consultation

Are you thinking of starting a worker cooperative business? Does your worker cooperative business need help? Do you want to know what a worker cooperative is? Just call us! Our hotline is (646) 363-6311.

 

Free trainings about workplace democracy for your workplace or school

Does your business, nonprofit, or school want to learn more about workplace democracy? Are you thinking of implementing a democratic decision-making structure at your workplace? Or maybe you want to learn more about Mondragon? Just call us to schedule a training! Our hotline is (646) 363-6311.

 

Succession Planning and Employee Buyouts

Are you a business owner thinking of retiring? Would you like to transition ownership to your employees? Are you aware of the significant tax incentives offered by the federal government for the sale of your business to an eligible worker-owned cooperative? We can talk you and your employees through the process, advise you on available tax savings, and subsidize a portion of the transaction costs! Just call us! Our hotline is (646) 363-6311.

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Donate


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Donate


Thank you for your interest in supporting the NYC Network of Worker Cooperatives!

All funds go directly to the growing worker cooperative movement. Please know that we greatly appreciate your commitment to this work.

To make a one-time donation via PayPal:

To donate by check: Make checks payable to 'NYC NOWC'

244 Fifth Avenue, #C230
New York, NY 10001

Note: Donations made to NYC NOWC are not tax-deductible. If you wish to make a tax-deductible donation to support the worker cooperative movement, please email us at info@nycworker.coop

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About


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About


Mission

The New York City Network of Worker Cooperatives is dedicated to sharing and cultivating the educational, financial and technical resources of its members and supporting the growth of worker cooperatives for social and economic justice. We offer assistance to existing and new worker cooperatives in all communities within the New York City metropolitan area, with a focus on the development of cooperatives within marginalized communities.

 

Board of Directors

Lauryl Berger-Chun, Full Lane Logistics

Jeffrey Deasy, Business Consultant

Yadira Fragoso, Sí Se Puede

Matt Keesan, 3B Bed & Breakfast

Scott Trumbull, The Working World

 

Staff

Christopher Michael, Executive Director

Christopher Michael, Esq. is completing a JD/PhD in political science at the City University of New York with a focus on cooperative financial structures, community economic development, and labor law. Chris is also General Counsel of The ICA Group, a national not-for-profit consultancy whose mission over the last 35 years has been to promote human and economic development through the creation of employee-owned businesses; and an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Management at CUNY Baruch College Zicklin School of Business and in the Community & Economic Development Clinic at CUNY Law School. 

Chris has ten years of experience in a variety of fields. After undergraduate at Columbia University, he worked demolition in the South Bronx, Brownsville, and Harlem; and then advanced to the position of Carpenter’s Apprentice at a private renovation/construction firm. He moved to Berlin for three years, where he worked in catering, independent film, advertising, and translation. Returning to New York, he drove yellow cab for two years. Chris is married, an enthusiast of the Chinatown YMCA, and continues to love New York pizza.

Carmen Huertas-Noble, General Counsel

Professor Carmen Huertas-Noble is the founding director of the Community & Economic Development Clinic (CEDC) at CUNY School of Law. Prior to joining the CUNY faculty, she also served as a senior staff attorney in the Community Development Project of the Urban Justice Center (UJC). Professor Huertas-Noble plays a leading role in providing transactional legal support to worker-owned cooperatives in New York. Numerous community groups and attorneys have consulted with Professor Huertas-Noble on entity formation options and democratic decision making structures for worker-owned cooperatives. Most recently, she established a partnership between Mondragon USA and CUNY Law CEDC in support of unionized worker cooperatives. Professor Huertas-Noble earned her JD from Fordham University Law School, where she was a Stein Scholar in Public Interest Law and Ethics and served on the staff of the Environmental Law Journal.

Alexander Kolokotronis, Student Coordinator

Alexander Kolokotronis is the founder of Student Organization for Democratic Alternatives (SODA), a student group that advocates for and seeks to build structures of economic democracy and participatory governance. He is currently studying for a BA/MA in philosophy at CUNY Queens College, with accompanied coursework at the CUNY Graduate Center. Alexander is also a participating fellow in the Mellon-Mays Undergraduate Fellowship. Presently, he is the Worker Cooperative Development Assistant for Make the Road NY. He is planning to pursue his PhD in philosophy while remaining active in advocacy for participatory democratic institutions.

Brendan Martin, Treasurer

Brendan Martin founded the Working World, a revolving loan fund for recovered factories and worker cooperatives, in Argentina in 2004. He acted as the coordinator there from 2004 - 2009.  In 2009, he helped found the second Working World cooperative fund in Nicaragua, and in 2012, he became US Director of the new cooperative loan fund in New York City. Living in Argentina and working with recovered factories, Brendan witnessed the variety of forms that cooperatives can encompass, from the most well-funded and organized to the newest and most challenged groups. Now in the United States, he and the Working World team are applying those lessons with OccuCopy, Si Se Puede, Third Root, and the New Era windows factory cooperative in Chicago. The Working World fund operates as a collective and practices community-based financing with zero wealth extraction.  The long-term vision of the fund is to be controlled by a board of cooperatives, to house mostly their savings, and to help make financing available to people who do not yet own their workplaces.