Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs)

Employee Ownership & Economic Well-Being

National Center For Employee Ownership

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.

New Report: Opportunities for Impact Investing in Employee Ownership

With income inequality in the United States at record high levels, employee ownership is increasingly being lauded as a potential solution to spreading wealth more broadly. Read more about New Report: Opportunities for Impact Investing in Employee Ownership...

Impact investing and employee ownership: Making employee-owned enterprises part of the income inequality solution

Mary Ann Beyster

With income inequality in the United States at record high levels, employee ownership is increasingly being lauded as a potential solution to spreading wealth more broadly. Most recently, research from the National Center for Employee Ownership released in May shows that employee owners have a household net worth that is 92 percent higher than non-employee owners. They also make 33 percent higher wages, and are far less likely to be laid off. 

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. 

Amsted Industries

Headquartered in Chicago, Amsted manufactures industrial components primarily for the railroad, vehicular, construction, and building markets.  It operates 49 facilities located across 11 countries and 6 continents, and has more than 18,000 employees.  Since 1998, the firm has been 100 percent employee-owned.

Vespoli USA

With no heirs and retirement on the horizon, Michael Vespoli, the World Rowing Champion who founded Vespoli USA in 1980, converted the company to an ESOP to ensure his employees—not a larger suburban or foreign company—would direct the enterprise’s future.  With 42 employee-owners and operating out of a custom-built factory in New Haven, Vespoli sells and repairs racing boats used for regattas worldwide.

Powerful, under-used tool for reducing income-inequality: broad-based ownership

Marjorie Kelly
The Hill

In this article for The Hill, Democracy Collaborative Executive Vice President and Senior Fellow Marjorie Kelly describes the growing movement toward broad-based ownership and how communities are coming together to take control of their local economies. Kelly highlights some of the innovative strategies used by communities on the ground, such as the cooperative ownership business conversion, which is poised to achieve expanded scale in the near future:


Started in 1946 in an automotive store in downtown Dallas, TDIndustries is a construction and facility services company that now works across Texas and surrounding states.  With its headquarters in Dallas, the 100 percent employee-owned company had revenues of $433 million and 2,030 employees as of 2015.  Committed to its employee-owners, TDIndustries has been recognized by Fortune Magazine for the past 18 years as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For.” Read more about TDIndustries...

Sammons Enterprises

Established in 1962, Sammons Enterprises is a 100 percent employee-owned diversified holding company with financial services, industrial equipment, real estate, and infrastructure businesses.  Based in Dallas since its inception, Sammons Enterprises now has 4,000 employees across five countries, over $73 billion in assets, and more than $5.2 billion in annual revenues.  With a strong commitment to the Dallas community, Sammons Enterprises’ founder, Charles Sammons, established the Sammons Dallas Foundation in 1970.  In 2009, the foundation made a historic $100 million gift to six Dallas nonprofits.  The foundation continues to support community organizations, providing $8 million in charitable contributions in 2015.

Austin Industries

Based in Dallas, Austin Industries is one of the largest construction companies in the U.S., with more than 7,000 employee-owners and an annual volume of $2 billion.  Founded in 1918, the company became 60 percent employee-owned in 1986 and 100 percent in 2000.   It provides civil, commercial and industrial construction services, and places an emphasis on sustainability, working to protect and preserve the environment while projects are under construction, and developing sustainable, healthy environments. Read more about Austin Industries...

Temperature Systems

Established in 1947, Temperature Systems is one of the largest HVAC/R distribution companies in Wisconsin.  With distribution centers in both Madison and Green Bay, the 100 percent employee-owned company has over 100 employees. Read more about Temperature Systems...

Daniels Construction

Founded in 1953, Daniels Construction provides residential, business, and maintenance construction services across Southern Wisconsin.  Recognizing that broad-based worker ownership encourages productivity and better quality control, the Madison-based company became employee-owned in 2006. Read more about Daniels Construction...

Yoder Industries, Inc.

Established in 1956, Yoder Industries is a full-service die casting company with two facilities in Dayton.  In 2012, after three generations of family ownership, it transitioned to a 100 percent employee-owned company.  Yoder Industries has about 90 employees and annual sales of over $30 million.