Employment and Jobs

Centering Equity: The Employee Ownership Expansion Network and the North Carolina Employee Ownership Center

April 2, 2024  • Maxwell Johnson & Matt Helmer

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Amid heightened public sentiment that inequality is a pressing issue and that businesses should treat workers better, employee ownership has gained attention as a tool for rebalancing the economy and ensuring that workers, particularly people of color and women, share in the nation’s prosperity. The North Carolina Employee Ownership Center (NCEOC) takes an affirmative approach to incorporating equity into its mission to expand employee ownership. It also stands as an example of the importance of the Employee Ownership Expansion Network (EOX). Together, NCEOC and EOX demonstrate the vital role state centers play in linking diverse local actors, connecting local efforts with the national employee ownership movement, and ensuring responsiveness to a state’s unique social and economic conditions.

This profile of NCEOC and EOX provides an overview of ongoing efforts to build infrastructure supporting the adoption of employee ownership. Focus is given to the strength of the North Carolina approach in centering racial equity, which may provide guidance for employee ownership work in other states. Philanthropic investors and others interested in addressing the racial wealth gap may also gain insights about how employee ownership can advance their goals.

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