Worker Ownership Initiative Launched by Nonprofit Lender in Nation’s Capital

The initiative will also provide lending support not just to businesses that convert to employee ownership, but to businesses that launch as worker cooperatives. An example cited at the forum announcing the initiative is Tightshift Laboring Cooperative, a worker-owned moving, hauling, landscaping and cleaning business. “Tightshift,” adds Larson, “has been operating for nearly two years now. They’ve hired some 20 workers over the first two years, most of them formerly incarcerated. Seven are now in a 1,000-hour apprentice program that will lead to an opportunity to buy into the cooperative as owners. While training, Tightshift workers earn $15 to $17 per hour—DC’s minimum wage is $13.25—and take part in company decision-making.”

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