Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Worcester Printing Cooperative Project launches, seeks first worker-member

We're excited to see the launch of the Worcester Printing Cooperative Project, an offshoot of EthiX merchandising. This is a prime example of existing businesses being the seeds for new enterprises. EthiX has a solid client list with a steady flow of work to seed a new apparel decoration business, and they are ready to do it for a cooperative. The equipment and space are lined up as well. All the business needs is YOU, if you answer "yes" to these questions!
  • Are you committed to fair labor standards and passionate about social responsibility?
  • Have you dreamed of running your own organization – an organization with the mission of changing the world?
  • Are you enthusiastic and have experience in the apparel or print industries? 
See for more information on the position.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Northeast Cooperative Council Annual Meeting March 27, 2014

NECC 65th Annual Meeting and Leaders Forum, CoBank Customer Meeting
The 65th NECC Annual Meeting and Leaders Forum, "Strategic Decision Making Through Tactical Leadership" and the CoBank Northeast Customer Meeting will be held March 27-28, 2014 at the Albany Marriott, Albany, NY. Selected topics for the Cooperative Leaders Forum include risk evaluation in a global economy, succession planning for cooperative boards and management, messaging for members, and enhancing critical decision making skills. Learn more about the Leaders Forum and CoBank Customer meeting at and register through CoBank, here:

Training opportunities for worker co-ops coming up: finance & patronage webinars Jan 24, Jan 31, and Feb TBD

The US Federation of Worker Cooperatives is kicking off 2014 with a member webinar series on worker cooperative finances. Register today!
January 24, 2014 = Tutorial
January 31, 2014 = Worker Coop Finances 101
February 2014 = Patronage - Sharing & Comparing Models
Descriptions and registration information here:

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Episode 4 of My So-Called Housing Cooperative now online -- hijinks continue!

Episode 4 of My-So Called Housing Cooperative is now online. 

You can view it on Youtube here:

Episode Summary: While Joey and Shanna are packing for their big move, Craig freaks out when he feels the entire building shake. He frantically questions his housemates to get to the bottom of the inexplicable tremors, fearing that the foundational stability of the Faire-Op may be threatened.

My So-Called Housing Cooperative is the story of young adults trying to live a life of cooperation and compassion... without losing their minds. Each month's webisode features a scripted parody based upon real life at the Faire Bande à Part Housing Cooperative (Faire-Op), a 3 story apartment building in Lewiston, ME.

You can see it on the WebsiteFacebookYoutube, and starting January 13th on The Entertainment Experiment, a web site for Maine Made web series.

I hope you enjoy it. More episodes to come.

This Saturday, 1/25, a screening of Shift Change documentary

Join us for the inaugural film in the Projections series, Word Up's winter series of film screenings with local filmmakers and neighborhood collaborators!

Ecomundo Cleaning & Word Up Community Bookshop Librería Comunitaria 


DATE: Saturday, January 25, 2014


LOCATION: 2113 Amsterdam Ave. @ 165th St.

WHAT: A screening of SHIFT CHANGE (69 min.), an award-winning documentary that tells the little known stories of employee owned businesses that compete successfully in today’s economy while providing secure, dignified jobs in democratic workplaces. 
***PLUS, members of Ecomundo Cleaning—a cooperative business based in Northern Manhattan and the Bronx—will present their own experiences forming a worker coop. Worker cooperative developers will also be present to discuss the process of forming a worker coop. 

ADMISSION: $5. (Reduced to $3 if you sign up for the Word Up CSB program as a Continuing CSB Member—


Shift Change—a documentary film by veteran award-winning filmmakers Melissa Young and Mark Dworkin—tells the little known stories of employee owned businesses that compete successfully in today’s economy while providing secure, dignified jobs in  democratic workplaces.

With the long decline in US manufacturing and today’s economic crisis, millions have been thrown out of work, and many are losing their homes. The usual economic solutions are not working, so some citizens and public officials are ready to think outside  of the box, to reinvent our failing economy in order to restore long-term community stability and a more egalitarian way of life.

There is growing interest in firms that are owned and managed by their workers. Such firms tend to be more profitable and innovative, and more committed to the communities where they are based. Yet the public has little knowledge of their success, and the promise they offer for a better life.

Shift Change encourages support for employee ownership, and provides on-the-ground experience from a variety of enterprises and locations. 


ECOMUNDO CLEANING is a group of mostly women (and 2 men), from Upper Manhattan and the Bronx, who have formed a cooperative business in order to ensure ourselves decent wages and healthy work conditions. Ecomundo offers green cleaning services for homes, offices, and businesses in the New York Metropolitan area. 

WORD UP COMMUNITY BOOKSHOP / LIBRERíA COMUNITARIA is a multilingual, general-interest community bookshop and arts space in Washington Heights, committed to preserving and building a neighborhood in which all residents help each other to live better informed and more expressive lives, using books as an instrument of reciprocal education and exchange, empowering not only themselves, but their community. 

A program of Seven Stories Institute, Word Up is supported by the generosity of hundreds of community donors, as well as the funding for general operating support from the NoMAA Regrant Program, made possible by the JPMorgan Chase Foundation and the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Development Corporation; the Medical Center Neighborhood Fund; and the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital Ambulatory Care Network.

Film website:
Ecomundo Cleaning:
Word Up Community Bookshop:

Watch "To The Moon" trailer -- documentary on Co-Cycle

Co-Cycle was a brave and beautiful project to bike the U.S. visiting and learning about co-ops along the way. To the Moon is the documentary. CDI is proud to have helped out in small ways with both projects and congratulates these Amherst grads on a ton of good work. It's not over, though -- funds are still needed to edit and promote the film, and the Co-Cycle continues with a tour planned along the West Coast in 2014. Enjoy the trailer and see how you can participate!

1st Annual NYC Worker Cooperative Conference: Economic Democracy and Economic Justice, April 19

Economic Democracy and Economic Justice: The Tale of a New City

The New York City Network of Worker Cooperatives will hold its first annual conference of presentations and discussions about economic democracy and the road to economic justice.  

The conference will be held on Saturday, April 19, 2014 at CUNY Law School. The public is invited to a day of panels, group sessions, and lectures on workplace democracy, worker cooperative businesses, and the future of economic democracy in New York City.

Register at:
or in-person on Saturday, April 19.

Date: Saturday, April 19, 2014
Time: 9 am – 5 pm
Location: CUNY Law School, 2 Court Square, Queens, NY 11101
Directions: E/M/G/7 to Court Square
Admissions: $5 - 25

Please contact or 646.363.6311 with questions.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

CDI cited in article on cooperative solutions for senior living

See "Cooperative Living for Seniors (and others)" on The Little Old Lady Stays Put (or doesn't), by Jacqueline Herships.

Class on Community Energy Solutions at Greenfield Community College 1/11 and 1/18

Community Energy Solutions Class at GCC Saturdays 1/11 and 1/18 from 9 am to 5 pm
One of the most inspiring things I get to do is to teach a class at GCC on Community Energy Solutions. The next session is coming up the next two Saturdays and I thought you might like to know about it.
The class is participatory - full of field trips and discussions.  The students are always wonderful - a great cross-section of people of different ages and backgrounds, people who know a lot about the subject and people who are brand new to it all. The conversations are insightful.  We all come out with new ways of understanding the world and, even better, new ways to talk with other people about these important issues in a compassionate way.
It's a great way to get an overview of what you can do to make a difference in the world of energy and climate change.
We've also hooked up a lot of people who take this class with internships and jobs.
This semester we'll be studying Harvard Solar Gardens and Northeast Biodiesel as our case studies and we'll take a field trip to learn about the energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades three different families have done on their homes.
To Register:
Online for Continuing Education (Course Code: REW 385)
OR download this Registration Form and  send it in to the Admissions office to register for one credit (Course Code: SCI 110-1).
Phone: (413) 775-1801
Fax: (413) 775-1827
Office of Admission
Greenfield Community College
One College Drive
Greenfield, MA 01301
We'll meet in the Main Building on the Main Campus in Room N405 on Saturday, Jan 11 and then we'll meet at my house, 127 Main Street, in Shelburne Falls on Saturday, Jan 18 - both from 9 am to 5 pm.  
Lynn Benander

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Collegiate Conference on Cooperatives in Minneapolis/St. Paul

Calling Young Farmers: Conference on Co-operatives
Every February students attend the Collegiate Conference on Co-operatives. Sponsored in part by the CHS Foundation and CoBank, the event attracts participants from across the country to the hotbed of co-operation, Minneapolis/St. Paul. The annual conference features presentations by cooperative leaders from all across the spectrum, and it is beneficial to both beginning students and to those with some previous co-op education. This year it takes place on February 13-16.

"Our own history is so closely tied with the cooperative movement," said National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson. "Farmers Union has a strong commitment to providing co-operative education not only to our members, but also to the general public, and especially to young people."

New England Farmers Union will send four members to Minneapolis for this year's conference (expenses paid). If you, your child, or someone you know is a college student or is under 25 and interested in co-operatives in agriculture, please let us know.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

My So-Called Housing Cooperative Episode 3: Rain of Mystery, now online

Happy New Year, everyone!

For your viewing pleasure, "Episode 3: Rain of Mystery" is now online! Thanks, Craig Saddlemire :)

You can view it on Youtube here:

Summary: In this episode, Joey becomes concerned as he begins to sense paranormal activities at the Faire-Op. Are these experiences real? Or maybe harboring his big secret is just slowly driving him crazy... Watch episode 3 and find out.

My So-Called Housing Cooperative is the story of young adults trying to live a life of cooperation and compassion... without losing their minds. Each month's webisode features a scripted parody based upon real life at the Faire Bande à Part Housing Cooperative (Faire-Op), a 3 story apartment building in Lewiston, ME.

You can see it on the Website, Facebook, and Youtube.

More episodes to come.