MadWorC steps up its outreach to prospective worker cooperatives

Madison Worker Cooperatives (MadWorC) exists both to support existing worker co-ops and to encourage new ones. We feel like we’re doing a reasonably good job on the first part, and now it’s time to turn our attention to the second part.

With that in mind, an Outreach Committee has formed. It began as a loose network that emerged from a Union Cab Solidarity Committee meeting attended by members of other co-ops. Over the next couple of weeks, volunteers met to sketch out out a direction for the committee. At the following MadWorC meeting, its charter was accepted, and its work began in earnest.

As its first and most visible activity, the Outreach Committee has had a table at the last several Farmers Markets on the Capitol Square. We talk to the public, hand out buttons and fliers about worker cooperativism, and gratefully accept donations of any size. We plan to continue this indefinitely.

The Committee is also actively pursuing any leads on people who want to form a worker co-op. We’ve heard from three nascent projects already, and are very interested in finding more. As we come across them, we will guide them to our Development Committee, which is so new it hasn’t even been fully formed yet. That’s the Outreach Committee’s next activity.

The general public can follow our discussions on our website,http://outreach.madworc.org. However, only committee members can actually participate in the discussion. Our face-to-face meetings are being organized on an ad hoc basis at this point — usually via the website. New folks are welcome to attend, but please be respectful of our meeting agenda.

If you’re someone who has a serious interest in forming a worker cooperative, and you meet the requirements listed to the right, contact committee member Steve Herrick at steve@interpreters.coop. The Outreach Committee is here for your benefit, so don’t be shy about talking to us.

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