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Immigrant Worker Owned Cooperatives: A User’s Manual. Worker Empowerment Through Democratized Knowledge. History: El Centro Humanitario and Green Clean for Life, LLC Why Worker Coops Fail: Coop Governance and Ownership Issues

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worker empowerment through democratized knowledge
Worker Empowerment Through Democratized Knowledge
  • History: El Centro Humanitario and Green Clean for Life, LLC
  • Why Worker Coops Fail: Coop Governance and Ownership Issues
  • The Immigrant Worker Cooperative Manual: An El Centro-UC Denver partnership
el centro humanitario the women s project scales up
El Centro Humanitario: The Women’s Project Scales Up
  • 2009: Growing record of success of informal women’s empowerment project + economic desperation resulted in desire to “scale up” and found a professional, registered immigrant women’s cooperative cleaning business
  • U.S. Worker Owned Cooperatives: about 350 worker-owned coops at end of decade
  • Immigrant worker owned cooperatives in operation or in preparation: 40
el centro humanitario coop incubator organization
El Centro Humanitario: Coop Incubator Organization
  • Incubator Organizations
    • New York’s Center for Family Life incubates Si Se Puede
    • California’s Women’s Action to Gain Economic Security—WAGES—incubates Green Cleaning Coops
    • El Centro Humanitario incubates Green Clean for Life, LLC
wages vs el centro
WAGES vs. El Centro



governance and ownership challenges how to build worker ownership
Governance and Ownership Challenges:How to Build Worker Ownership
  • Membership Structure

(provisional members vs. permanent members vs. second-class members)

  • Board of Directors Structure (Homogenous Boards vs. Hybrid Boards) and tensions between Board and Worker Owners
  • The role of the coop manager vs. the role of coop members
  • Coop management structures (Centralized, professional management vs. elected executive committees vs. decentralized operations without management)
the immigrant worker coop manual1
The Immigrant Worker Coop Manual

University-Community Partnership: El Centro’s Founding, Organizational Development and Coop Growth

community university partnerships issues
Community-University Partnerships:Issues
  • “Banking” model versus “Participatory/Dialogic” model of popular education
  • University Partnerships: Worth the Political Effort & Funding?
    • HUD’s Office of University Partnerships declining funding
    • COPC (“Community Outreach Partnership Centers”) defunded since 2005
community university partnerships issues1
Community-University Partnerships:Issues
  • In the end, how much of our challenge is educational, versus raw access to capital and power
  • Series of University-Community Partnership Studies