CDI has been working with Insource Renewables, a Maine solar energy company, to support them in becoming a worker-owned cooperative. Vaughan Woodruff, the founder of Insource, recently published an opinion piece in Maine’s Bangor Daily News in support of LD 1338, a bill that would make it easier for more businesses in the state to become co-ops:
As any small-business owner can attest, the addition of these talented individuals increases one’s responsibility and stress. Our payroll now directly affects more than a dozen families in the area, and our success has become something of a bellwether for a town that has seen significant losses in job quality during the past decade. As our company grows, my level of risk increases. Increased risk in the business world is often seen as an opportunity for greater profits, but with two young sons, I would gladly trade profits for time to share the fleeting moments of their youth.
The solution that makes the most sense for us is converting to a worker cooperative. This business model more accurately aligns responsibility and reward and will allow us to grow in a manner that maintains the quality of our work and job quality for our staff. The formal involvement of our workers in corporate decision-making coupled with direct economic benefit provides an authentic mechanism for accountability and prosperity.