Thu, Jan 30, 2014
8:30 AM - 1:00 PM





Thursday, January 30, 2014
8:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. 

(Networking Reception from 8:30-9:00am)

This event is co-sponsored by:
CUNY Law’s Community & Economic Development Clinic (CEDC) 


Welcoming Remarks

Jennifer Jones Austin, Executive Director, Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies

Opening Address
Steven Greenhouse, New York Times labor and workplace correspondent

Defining the Problem
Noah Franklin, Senior Policy Analyst, FPWA will present a policy paper the organization has developed framing the issue of the continuing economic crisis, the current landscape of worker cooperatives in New York City, and how they can help address issues such as income disparity and achieving a sustainable livelihood.

Panel 1- State of Worker Cooperatives in New York City
Representatives from the City’s worker cooperative developers as well as worker cooperatives themselves will speak about what it means to develop and sustain a worker cooperative in New York City, what challenges they face today, and what benefits the model brings to those who participate.

Panel 2- Social and Economic Justice Organizations, Labor Unions, and Community-level/ Grassroots Organizations
Worker cooperatives have the potential to become a powerful force for building social and economic justice. Speakers from social and economic justice organizations, labor unions and community-level/ grassroots organizations will provide insights on the potentials that exist to partner to organize low-income and working communities.

Panel 3- Technical Assistance for Worker Cooperatives
Speakers include officials from Urban Justice Center, The Working World, US Federation of Worker Cooperatives, and others discussing technical assistance (business consultation, legal advice, finance, incubation, etc.) to worker cooperatives and the current gaps that exist that limit effectiveness. Key points will emphasize lack of funding, assistance, government support, among other improvements needed.

Panel 4- Closing Remarks: Where Do We Go from Here? The future of worker cooperatives in NYC.
Chris Michael, Founding Director, NYC Network of Worker Cooperatives, will discuss what the future of worker cooperatives in NYC may look like if key reforms are pushed through the City government to help encourage their creation and prosperity.
*Speakers list still formation.
Highlights Include:
• Find out specific details as to how worker cooperatives have helped other cities and countries’ economies and how they can help address the current economic crisis in NYC.
• Hear from academics, officials, and representatives of various areas of the City’s workforce support system on the current landscape of worker cooperatives in NYC.
• Be informed of recommendations that the new mayoral administration could implement for administrative, policy, systems- improvements

ABOUT FPWA’s REPORt: “Worker Cooperatives for New York City: A Vision for Addressing Income Inequality”

The Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies (FPWA) has written this report, Worker Cooperatives for New York City: A Vision for Addressing Income Inequality, for the purpose of educating policy makers on worker cooperatives as a viable option for addressing the continuing economic crisis in New York City. Worker cooperatives are a relatively new issue in New York City that has not received a substantial amount of attention as an economic development strategy.

FPWA promotes the social and economic well-being of greater New York’s most vulnerable by advocating for just public policies and strengthening human service organizations. Our latest report provides recommendations that the new Mayoral administration could implement to expand economic opportunities with worker cooperatives for low-income families and communities. To our knowledge, there have been no recent reports that focus on the potential of worker cooperatives in New York City.

Noting that minimum and low-wage jobs are not a strong enough combatant against poverty, this report concludes that the development of worker cooperatives in New York City should be included as part of a long- term strategy to address inequality. Organizations that support worker cooperatives exist within New York City, but must be expanded and developed.  City agencies that already work to bolster the economy should begin to offer tailored supports to developing worker cooperatives. Therefore, this report provides recommendations that the new Mayoral administration and City Council could implement to support existing worker cooperatives and encourage the advancement of more.


The half day conference will take place at FPWA located at 281 Park Avenue South, Conference Room A on January 30th, 2014 from 8:30am to 1:00pm.  The half day conference will begin at 8:30am with a breakfast and networking reception, followed by remarks from Jennifer Jones Austin and Steven Greenhouse, the official FPWA report at 9:30am, then a series of panels outlining the current status of worker cooperatives in NYC and what can be done to secure their future will run from 9:45am to 12:50pm.

Event attendance is free, though space is limited.

Please use the register for below to register your attendance online, or call me at 212-801-1376.

Thank you,

Noah Franklin

Noah Franklin
Senior Policy Analyst
Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies
281 Park Avenue South, NY, NY 10010
Ph: (212) 801-1376 / Fax: (212) 414-1328

The registration deadline for this event has passed.