Employment and Jobs

Job Quality Newsletter – Employee Ownership on the Ground

May 6, 2024  • Matt Helmer

This April, we co-hosted the second Employee Ownership Ideas Forum with the Rutgers Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing. The two-day event brought together leaders from business, finance, government, philanthropy, academia, advocacy, and more to discuss the current state of employee ownership practice and policy, and how we can continue to move forward to expand ownership in the US.

The Forum was full of inspiring and enlightening stories about the connection between employee ownership and good jobs, healthy communities, business performance, a stronger manufacturing base, and the potential to address race and gender inequities. Practitioners, finance experts, state government representatives, and leaders from federal government agencies shared their successes, challenges, and lessons learned about supporting employee ownership. We were honored to have Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Senator Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, and Congressman Larry Bucshon of Indiana attend and speak about the power of employee ownership and the potential it has to build a fairer economy. And there was so much more!

The excitement and momentum behind employee ownership was palpable at the Forum. This month’s newsletter features highlights from the Forum and other recent research and tools from EOP and our partners.

Highlights from the Employee Ownership Ideas Forum

On April 9 and 10, the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program co-hosted the second Employee Ownership Ideas Forum with our partners at the Rutgers Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing. And today, we are pleased to share recordings from this event. Click here for video, audio, photos, transcripts, and more.

Learn More About the Forum

Additional Reading

Can Employee Ownership Improve Capitalism?

Writing in Fast Company, the Aspen Institute’s Maureen Conway, Rutgers’ Joseph Blasi, and I discuss whether employee share ownership could help address the conflict between American capitalism and the American dream.

Read the Article

Employee Ownership and Equity in North Carolina 

The North Carolina Employee Ownership Center (NCEOC) affirmatively incorporates equity into its mission to expand employee ownership. It also stands as an example of the importance of the Employee Ownership Expansion Network (EOX). This profile of NCEOC and EOX, co-authored with my colleague Maxwell Johnson, provides an overview of ongoing efforts to build infrastructure supporting the adoption of employee ownership. 

Read the Profile

Additional Reading

The Importance of Participatory Decision Making in Designing Quality Jobs

In this brief, my colleague Maxwell Johnson and I explore participatory decision making, including its history, the outcomes it helps create for workers and businesses, its importance in helping firms navigate technological changes and design work-based learning, and numerous examples including those from employee-owned companies.

Read the Publication