The Noah Project

Rebuilding a sustainable world.

Cooperative Helps the Formerly Incarcerted

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Cooperatives, which are owned and democratically controlled by workers, often provide economic opportunity for the formerly incarcerated, the long-term unemployed and immigrants. In certain industries like commercial cleaning or taxi service, worker-ownership can prevent exploitative or hostile work environments.

At TightShift, which provides moving, landscaping, and cleaning services, every member has equal say in the company’s direction. No CEO collecting bonus checks while workers eke out minimum wage. No orders dictated from boss to employee. Decisions are made collectively as a group. One person, one vote.

As a cooperative, the company’s mission is far more holistic than simply profit margins and gross revenue.

“My understanding of a co-op is it’s bigger than a business,” Reid says. “We’re doing a service to support ourselves, but it’s not about money.”

The cooperative completed 30 jobs in its first year, collecting initial funds from grants. They are raising money for a new moving truck and other equipment necessary to expand the business through a fundraiser held earlier this week and a crowdfunding campaign.

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Author: Daniela

I was born in Croatia, at that time Yugoslavia. My family moved to the US when I was very young, but I still treasure the memories of my grandfather teaching me how to protect myself against the "evil eye," my grandmother shopping early every morning, at the open air market, to buy the freshest vegetables for the day's meals, and the traditions that were the underpinnings of our society. Someone once noted that "For all of us that want to move forward, there are a very few that want to keep the old methods of production, traditions and crafts alive." I am a fellow traveler with those who value the old traditions and folk wisdom. I believe the knowledge they possess can contribute significantly to our efforts to build a more sustainable world; one that values the individual over the corporation, conservation over growth and happiness over wealth.

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