The AlliedUP Co-op Blog

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The Future of Work: Employment Cooperatives

Employment cooperatives, a relatively small but growing trend in the United States, have exciting potential to help resolve today’s job search and employment challenges, empower workers, foster community engagement, and pave the way to a more equitable, sustainable, long-term future of work.

  • An employment, or worker, cooperative is a collaborative business owned and operated by members who use democratic practices as they participate in the enterprise’s profits, oversight, and management. Worker members actually own their business and either have representation on or vote for its board of directors, adhering to the principle of one worker, one vote.
  • Recent data shows that there are more than 900 such democratic workplaces in the U.S., employing more than 10,000 people. This number continues to grow as this innovative business model proves effective in supporting sustainable, dignified jobs, generating wealth, improving workers’ quality of life, and promoting community and local economic development.

The Benefits of Worker Ownership

Because they are owned and run by their members, employment cooperatives operate for their benefit. The reasons individuals opt to join cooperatives include:

  • Building communities: Cooperatives entitle all members to their company’s profits – which can increase their ability to save money and grow their individual wealth. In turn, they may opt to invest in local businesses and enterprises, allowing more money to stay within local communities and potentially building the prosperity of area residents.
  • Gaining management and leadership experience: Because of the responsibility associated with managing and owning their own company, cooperative members gain valuable leadership experience, which is an asset to any career.
  • Increasing productivity: Since they own their cooperative, members are naturally more invested in its long-term success. As a result, they are more likely to be productive contributors to their teams and to their business.

Values-Based Principles

Cooperatives are autonomous associations of professionals united voluntarily to meet their common career, social, cultural, and community needs. They do so through jointly owned, democratically controlled enterprises. Cooperatives operate based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, equality, equity, and solidarity. Their guiding principles include:

  • Shared ownership and management: Each individual member of a cooperative has an equal place and say within their organization – actively participating in setting policies and making business decisions.
  • Member economic participation: Members contribute equally to and democratically control all the capital of their cooperative.
  • Community concern: Through the policies approved by their members, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities.

Is an Employment Cooperative Right for You?

Like what you’re hearing?

When you join the AlliedUP Co-op community, you become a worker member of our growing organization. This means you get to take control of your healthcare career and your future, whether you’re a new graduate, trainee, or seasoned professional. From RNs and LVNs to therapists, speech-language pathologists, coders, other skilled healthcare workers in demand, and more, we can connect you with leading organizations throughout California and nationwide.

Browse our current openings and submit your resume to get started with our team today.