The Cleveland Model

The Cleveland Model

Owning Your Own Job is a Beautiful Thing: Community Wealth Building in Cleveland, Ohio

Ted Howard
Investing in What Works for America’s Communities

Ted Howard contributed this essay to Investing in What Works for America’s Communities, a book published by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and the Low Income Investment Fund that calls on leaders from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to build on what we know is working to move the needle on poverty.

Case Study: Cleveland, OH: The Cleveland Evergreen Cooperatives

Elaine Wang and Nathaly Agosto Filión
Sustainable Economic Development: A Resource Guide for Local Leaders

The Evergreen Cooperative Development Fund

Margaret Bernstein
The Plain dealer

The Evergreen Cooperative Development Fund has been launched in Cleveland. The nonprofit revolving loan fund will be used to catalyze a robust network of worker-owned cooperatives in the city's Greater University Circle Neighborhoods.

The Cleveland Foundation

Bob Eckardt

Bob Eckhardt, Senior Vice President for Programs and Evaluation of the Cleveland Foundation, discusses the Foundation's support of the worker-owned cooperatives.

Cleveland Greater University Circle Initiative

The Democracy Collaborative has entered into a partnership with the Cleveland Foundation to help develop the economic development component of the foundation's multi-pronged initiative focused on the city's Greater University Circle neighborhoods. The initiative seeks to focus the economic practices of local anchors (such as universities, hospitals and cultural institutions) to support community wealth building strategies.

Learning from Evergreen and Mondragon and Key Differences

Nicholas Iuviene, Amy Stitley and Lorlene Hoyt

Exploring the potential that worker cooperatives can have in creating effective economic democracy, this report from the Community Innovators Lab (CoLab) at the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning examines both the Evergreen Cooperative Initiative in Cleveland, OH and the Mondragón Complex in Basque Country, Spain, and key differences between the two models.

Green City Growers

The newest of the Evergreen Cooperative, broke ground on October 17th. Situated on ten acres, the greenhouse will annually produce more than 3 million heads of lettuce, 300,000 pound of fresh herbs, and will employ 35 worker-owners.

The Evergreen Cooperative Model Continues to Grow

For a June 2010 update, listen to this Cleveland Foundation podcast.  For written updates on Evergreen, see this article in GreenBiz.com and this article from a Duke business school attendee at the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies conference.

Evergreen Cooperative Laundry

On October 21, 2009, the Evergreen Cooperative Laundry, the first of a growing network of worker-owned cooperatives in Cleveland's Greater University Circle neighborhoods, officially opened its doors. 

Cleveland Roundtable on Building Community Wealth

In the fall of 2006, The Democracy Collaborative began organizing a series of Community Wealth Building Roundtables in cities across the country. One of the first of these conferences was held in Cleveland, Ohio. The Roundtable – “Building Community Wealth: New Asset-Based Approaches to Solving Social and Economic Problems in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio” – brought together local economic development practitioners and advocates, policy makers from the city and county, labor, business leaders, and anchor institutions. The day-long dialogue focused on the local situation, created linkages across sectors and organizations, and helped identify opportunities with in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio to expand the field and to build greater support for a comprehensive strategy of community wealth building innovations and policies.

The Cleveland Model

Own a Home in Just Four Years? This Co-Op Program Keeps Workers in the Neighborhood

Yessenia Funes
Yes! Magazine

Yessenia Funes writes about the Evergreen Cooperatives' home-buyer program in Yes! Magazine's Fall 2015 Debt Issue. 

Evergreen started this unique home-buyers program three years ago. Today, nearly half of its worker-owners have purchased homes through the program. Home ownership was unlikely for them before; many have bad credit or criminal records. Cedeño simply couldn’t afford the traditional route, which would have meant a down payment—and debt. “I didn’t want to have debts so large,” he explains, “so this opportunity came, and I took advantage of it.”

Read the full article here

Is it Time for a New New Deal?

James M. Larkin and Zach Goldhammer
The Nation
Our economy is broken. Could a universal basic income, child allowances, and worker-owned cooperatives fix it? The Democracy Collaborative's Gar Alperovitz, alongside other economists and activists, sheds light on the issue.

Shelterforce Interview: Ron Sims

Miriam Axel-Lute, Matthew Brian Hersh and Harold Simon
Shelterforce

Owning a Stake in Your Future

Tamara Copeland
Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers

The Cleveland Model

Gar Alperovitz, Ted Howard and Thad Williamson
The Nation

Something important is happening in Cleveland: a new model of large-scale worker- and community-benefiting enterprises is beginning to build serious momentum in one of the cities most dramatically impacted by the nation's decaying economy. The Evergreen Cooperative Laundry (ECL)--a worker-owned, industrial-size, thoroughly "green" operation--opened its doors late last fall in Glenville, a neighborhood with a median income hovering around $18,000. It's the first of ten major enterprises in the works in Cleveland, where the poverty rate is more than 30 percent and the population has declined from 900,000 to less than 450,000 since 1950.

The Evergreen Coooperative Initiative of Cleveland, Ohio

Ted Howard, Lillian Kuri and India Pierce Lee
A Sense of Place: Place-Based Grantmaking in Practice, pp. 6-12

Evergreen Coop Laundry

Cindy Grahl
Builders Exchange Magazine, Vol. 8, No. 12

Ours to Share: How Worker-Ownership Can Change the American Economy

Sanjay Pinto and The Surdna Foundation
The Surdna Foundation

This report from The Surdna Foundation delves into the world of worker ownership, detailing models and best practices, from the Cleveland Model developed by the Evergreen Cooperatives in Ohio to the role of foundations and philanthropy in developing worker-owned business strategies:

Impact to Last: Lessons from the Front Lines of Social Enterprise

Ben Thornley, Jacquelyn Anderson and Lauren Dixon

In these eight case studies, REDF (a California-based nonprofit, has led the pioneering effort to create jobs and employment opportunities for people facing the greatest barriers to work) highlights the work of social enterprise leaders around the country. By surveying groups such as the Evergreen Cooperatives in Cleveland, Ohio, REDF showcases the principal drivers of achieving scale and success, and paving the way towards a more inclusive economy.

The Cleveland Model—How the Evergreen Cooperatives are Building Community Wealth

The Democracy Collaborative, in partnership with the Cleveland Foundation, the Ohio Employee Ownership Center, the City of Cleveland, and the city's major hospitals and universities—is helping to implement a new model of large-scale worker-owned and community-benefiting businesses. The Evergreen Cooperative Initiative is beginning to build serious momentum in one of the cities most dramatically impacted by the nation's decaying economy. Increasingly, this model is being referred to nationally as The Cleveland Model. Other cities nationwide have begun the process of replicating and adapting this innovative approach to economic development, green job creation, and neighborhood stabilization.

Owning Your Own Job is a Beautiful Thing: Community Wealth Building in Cleveland, Ohio

Ted Howard
Investing in What Works for America’s Communities

Ted Howard contributed this essay to Investing in What Works for America’s Communities, a book published by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and the Low Income Investment Fund that calls on leaders from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to build on what we know is working to move the needle on poverty.

Shift Change: Putting Democracy to Work

This new documentary highlights the work of the Mondragon Cooperatives as well as companies across the United States, such as the Evergreen Cooperatives, which are owned and governed democratically by their employees. Airing on PBS stations across the country in the summer of 2014, the film includes interviews with the Democracy Collaborative's Ted Howard. Find out about the Washington, D.C. premiere here.