New Economy, New Ways to Work

Stephanie McMillan for YES! Magazine Well-run businesses require a hierarchy of highly paid executives.
Stephanie McMillan for YES! Magazine Worker co-ops are efficient and democratic, and workers keep the profits.
Stephanie McMillan for YES! Magazine The freedom to do ecological damage improves the business climate.
Stephanie McMillan for YES! Magazine If we destroy the environment, there is no business … or climate.
Stephanie McMillan for YES! Magazine Large corporations are efficient, innovative, and create jobs.
Stephanie McMillan for YES! Magazine Locally rooted small- and medium-sized businesses create the jobs and innovations we need.


Do you want new jobs in your community? With layoffs and businesses closing, who doesn’t? The standard formula is to offer big corporations subsidies and tax breaks. Throw in lax environmental and labor standards, and you may win the new-jobs sweepstakes—until another city offers a better deal. There’s another way—build your economy from local assets. Worker co-ops, in particular, are enjoying a resurgence. The Mondragón cooperatives in Spain started up to provide jobs during an economic slump; today, they employ 100,000 worker/owners. In the South Bronx, a new green worker co-op is reselling salvaged building materials. In Cleveland, co-ops will soon be servicing the city’s most stable employers—hospitals and colleges. These businesses employ the poor and keep jobs local. Many have a distinctly green tinge. Instead of flying off to distant shareholders, the profits go to the worker/owners who keep them circulating close to home.

Stephanie McMillan for YES! Magazine
Stephanie McMillan for YES! Magazine

The YES! Take on Work in the New Economy


Worker Co-ops: Green and Just Jobs You Can Own
by James Trimarco & Jill Bamburg
A NYC worker co-op turns trash into treasure.
When Worker-Owners Decide How to Ride Out a Downturn
by Georgia Kelly & Shaula Massena 
It has become a sadly familiar scene. Hard times force a company to downsize, and some people will have to lose their jobs. Or will they?
Help Wanted: Green Businesses Seek Worker-Owners. Walk to Work. Good Benefits.
by Ted Howard, Steve Dubb, and Gar Alperovitz
Cleveland transitions from rustbelt to recovery.

No Paywall. No Ads. Just Readers Like You.
You can help fund powerful stories to light the way forward.
Donate Now.