Viroqua Food Co+op Blog

The Worker Cooperative, A Business Model

Posted by Charlene Elderkin on Mon, Sep 03, 2012 @ 02:41 PM

My name is Kevin Schmidt. I am a clinical social worker/psychotherapist, at Center Point Counseling Services Cooperative, in Viroqua Wisconsin. We opened our doors in December 2011, the first mental health cooperative in the country.

We are a worker cooperative. This means that our 12 clinical and administrative staff are the member-owners of the cooperative.

During this last year of introducing our cooperative to the public, many have asked “So what is a worker cooperative?”  I realized that when we have been answering this question, we generally preface our response “Well, a worker cooperative is a business model…” and then there are a number of ways to end that sentence, to distinguish this business model from others. These distinctions were usually poignant, direct statements about powerful aspects of worker cooperatives, and cooperatives in general. One day, I decided to write down the many ways that we end this sentence, the ways that the worker cooperative is set apart from other business models:

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Tags: Cooperative, Worker Cooperative Business Model