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Worker coops in Cleveland to build wealth for inner-city residents
Evergreen Laundry is the first of of several cooperative ventures in University Circle
by WKSU's KAREN SCHAEFER


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Karen Schaefer
 
Chuck Miller from Doty Miller Architects and manager Dick Szczepinski in front of the new Evergreen Laundry, a for-profit cooperative venture in Cleveland's Glenville Neighborhood
Courtesy of Karen Schaefer
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A group of Cleveland non-profits is backing a socially-conscious, eco-development in an inner-city neighborhood. They hope the environmentally-friendly workers cooperative will help build wealth for impoverished residents.
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Demolition at the building where the new laundry is being built started in April - Szczepinski says the laundry will open in late July or early August
Lillian Kuri of the Cleveland Foundation says as part of its efforts to revitalize the University Circle area, the foundation wanted to extend the economic health of institutions like the Cleveland Clinic into surrounding poor neighborhods.  A workers cooperative was their choice to build wealth for residents
Cleveland Foundation consultant Ted Howard says in the three neighborhoods around University Circle, the average household income is less than 18-thousand dollars.  And he believes the traditional model for building wealth for poor people - home ownership - is broken due to the mortagage foreclosure crisis
Jim Anderson with the Ohio Employee Ownership Center at Kent State University tells about 40-prospective worker-owners that a cooperative model is fundamentally different from most for-profit businesses and will require that everyone work together for the common good

Related Links & Resources
Mondragon Cooperative Corporation

Ohio Employee Ownsership Center

Cleveland Foundation

 
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