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

November 7, 2013

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 include:

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

Moderated by: Lydia DePillis, reporter for “Wonkblog,” The Washington Post

This event is part of the Working in America series.