Join a worker-run cooperative business

A worker cooperative is a business that is owned and controlled by its workers. In other words, the workers are both the employees AND the employer. Usually, workers run the day-to-day operations of the business—such as making business decisions, assigning tasks to each person, etc., as well as the business’s finances. Although each person has a different level of responsibility, all workers are considered to be equal members and have equal power within the business.

Any business can be a worker-owned and controlled cooperative. Worker co-ops have been successful in many different industries. Some examples are:

    Service—housecleaning, day labor, restaurants, taxis, childcare
    Farming and food production—urban or community farms, community-supported agriculture programs, bakeries, restaurants
    Retail—grocery stores, bookstores, bike shops
    Health care—nursing, home health care, clinics, bodywork
    Skilled trades—printing, plumbing, woodworking, contracting
    Manufacturing and engineering—machine parts, fabricating
    Technology—web hosting, networking, voice and data systems
    Education—charter schools, teacher/student/parent-run schools
    Media and the arts—designers, galleries, performers, publishers

For more information about worker cooperatives and how to join or start a cooperative near you, here are some helpful resources:

    U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives—Democracy at Work Institute:
    Sustainable Economies Law Center:
    Examples of existing worker cooperatives: