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Kaid Benfield’s Blog

Cleveland cooperative delivers on green jobs

Kaid Benfield

Posted October 20, 2011

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  Evergreen Cooperative Laundry (by: Janet Century, via Apollo Alliance)

A little over a year ago, in a post about the economics of sustainable communities, I wrote about Cleveland's Evergreen cooperative of worker-owned green businesses.  It's a great story.  

As Gar Alperovitz, Thad Williamson and Ted Howard write in The Nation:

“Something important is happening in Cleveland: a new model of large-scale worker- and community-benefiting enterprises is beginning to build serious momentum in one of the cities most dramatically impacted by the nation's decaying economy. The Evergreen Cooperative Laundry (ECL)--a worker-owned, industrial-size, thoroughly ‘green’ operation--opened its doors late last fall in Glenville, a neighborhood with a median income hovering around $18,000. It's the first of ten major enterprises in the works in Cleveland, where the poverty rate is more than 30 percent and the population has declined from 900,000 to less than 450,000 since 1950.”

Evergreen's related businesses include a solar energy company and greenhouse-based urban farming.  For more, The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland has produced a great introductory video about the cooperative:


Move your cursor over the images for credit information.

Kaid Benfield writes (almost) daily about community, development, and the environment.  For more posts, see his blog's home page. 

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Heather McLaughlinOct 23 2011 09:27 AM

This is wonderful news for the Glenville community. I'd like to see more urban gardens around Cleveland, it could benefit everyone and help to redevelop land use, since demographics have changed so much over the years.

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