past event
Employment and Jobs

Creating Good Jobs: Lessons Learned from Worker Cooperatives, ESOPs and B Corporations

Audio (MP3)

To download, click here.

About the Event

The US economy continues to add jobs at a modest, yet steady pace. While job creation is a positive sign that the economy is beginning to heal, job reports in the last few months show low-wage sectors are predominantly the industries where people are finding work.

In addition to low pay, other job quality issues — such as few benefits, part-time hours, and limited training and advancement opportunities — are becoming more common in many sectors as some companies seek to maximize shareholder returns at the expense of investing in their workforce. A number of businesses, however, are trying to buck these trends and show that businesses can create quality jobs for their workers and still succeed in the marketplace.

Worker-owned cooperatives, B Corps companies, and businesses with employee stock ownership programs may offer ideas about ways to improve the returns to work.

These models, however, are not without their challenges. Many worker-owned cooperatives have failed and some ESOPs have ended up hurting the workers they were designed to benefit. In this event, panelists will have an honest discussion about these different approaches, including what it takes for these types of business models to succeed, the impacts of these models on profits and worker success, and what we can learn from these models that can apply to creating better jobs in our economy overall.


Featured speakers

Steven Dawson
Strategic advisor, PHI

Albert Fuller
CEO and chairman, Integrated Packaging Corporation

Jamie Raskin
Maryland State Senator and Professor at American University’s Washington College of Law

Camille Kerr
Research director, The National Center for Employee Ownership



Lydia DePillis
Reporter for “Wonkblog,” The Washington Post


Related resources

Fact Sheet on Worker Cooperatives, ESOPs, and B Corporations

Economic Opportunities Program Director: Good Jobs Are Good Business


This event is part of the Working in America series, an ongoing discussion series hosted by the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program that highlights an array of critical issues affecting low- and moderate-income workers in the United States and ideas for improving and expanding economic opportunities for working people. For more information, visit




Join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #talkgoodjobs.

Event information
Thu Oct 10, 2013
12:00pm - 1:30pm GMT+0000
The Aspen Institute
One Dupont Circle NW, Suite 700, Large Conference Room
Washington, DC, United States