Founded in 1979, Collins Plumbing Inc. (CPI) is a certified-minority plumbing contractor serving public and private entities in the San Diego region. In 2007, CPI transitioned to employee ownership. The company has about 60 worker-owners.
Based in San Diego, Recon Environmental provides environmental consulting services to projects located across the Southwest. Founded in 1972, the company became 100 percent employee owned in 2010 and now has about 190 worker-owners. Through its RECONnect initiative, Recon partners with Balboa City Schools and Ocean Discovery Institute to inspire diverse youth to pursue careers in the environmental sciences by offering student internship/job-shadowing opportunities, native plants for gardens and restoration efforts, leaders for field trips, and speakers for classroom and field presentations.
Modern Times is a production brewery and tasting room with two locations in San Diego. Opened in 2013, the company transitioned to 30 percent employee ownership in 2017 and aims to be 100 percent worker owned in the future. Committed to its worker-owners, the company provides health care, unlimited paid time-off, a two-month paid sabbatical after five years, a guaranteed take-home minimum wage of $15 per hour, and free Modern Times-produced beverages.
Launched in 1992, Sain Engineering Associates (SEA) is an energy engineering consulting firm that specializes in identifying cost effective solutions that can improve functional operations while reducing energy consumption. To enable its employees to share in SEA’s growth and success, the company became an ESOP in 2013. SEA currently has 54 worker-owners.
Founded in Birmingham in 1905, American Cast Iron Pipe manufactures ductile iron pipe, spiral-welded steel pipe, fire hydrants and valves for the waterworks industry, and electric-resistance-welded steel pipe for the oil and gas industry. The company has about 2,600 worker-owners—1,600 based in Birmingham, and the remainder spread across plants located in Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Alabama, Minneapolis, and Brazil. Committed to its employees, American offers a range of programs to help its worker-owners grow professionally and personally, including an award-winning wellness program with an on-site fitness center, screenings, personal health coaching, and rewards for participation.
With its first location opening in Lakewood, WA in 1971, RAM Restaurant & Brewery now operates 31 restaurants—including C.I. Shenanigans in Tacoma—across 6 states. Recognizing the success of other ESOP companies, the restaurant group transitioned to employee ownership in 2014. It currently has about 2,000 worker-owners. Read more about RAM Restaurant & Brewery...
Originally part of Delta Engineering, Parametrix was created in 1974 when two Delta divisions merged and spun off as a separate company. Recognizing that worker ownership would provide a secure future for its employees and their families, the company transitioned to an ESOP structure in 1992 and became 100 percent employee-owned in 1999. Now working across 12 locations (the majority of which are in Washington State), Parametrix’s 740 worker-owners focus on providing solutions for complex infrastructure and environmental projects.
Established in 1958, T.W. Frierson Contractor, Inc. is a general contracting firm committed to providing environmentally sustainable solutions for all facility types. In 2016, the firm transitioned from family-owned to employee-owned, making it Nashville’s first employee-owned general contractor. T.W. Frierson currently has 140 worker-owners.
InfoWorks is a 100 percent employee-owned firm that provides analytics, management, and technology solutions to companies in the Mid-South. Recognized in 2017 as a “Best Place to Work” by the Nashville Business Journal, InfoWorks aims to treat its roughly 100 worker-owners like family. Also committed to the community, InfoWorks supports a range of nonprofits located in Middle Tennessee and encourages its employees to participate in volunteer activities.
Premier System provides turnkey system integration, panel fabrication, consulting, outsourcing, recruiting, and other key services to manufacturers across the U.S. Founded in 1991, the company became 100 percent employee owned in 2014. With its headquarters in Nashville and regional offices in Decatur, AL and Cincinnati, OH, Premier System has over 140 employees.
This report from the National Center for Employee Ownership synthesizes research on the impact of employee ownership on economic outcomes for young workers, ages 28-34. The authors find that compared to non-employee owners, these workers have higher household net wealth, higher median incomes, increased job stability, and greater access to benefits such as childcare, retirement plans, and tuition reimbursement.
But employee ownership requires new investment in order to get to scale. A new report by Mary Ann Beyster, president and trustee of the Foundation for Enterprise Development (FED), published by the Fifty by Fifty initiative of The Democracy Collaborative, examines the investing landscape for potential opportunities in employee ownership. The report, Impact Investing and Employee Ownership, reports on the results from six months of research showing that the opportunities for impact investors to support employee ownership are limited, but that an investing infrastructure is beginning to emerge across asset classes.