The Nebraska Cooperative Development Center, in partnership with the Northwest Cooperative Development Center of Washington state, has developed a six-week Homecare Worker Cooperative Academy designed to take caregivers through the cooperative development process. Interested caregivers across Nebraska are invited to participate.
Worker cooperatives, which traditionally have higher pay, higher employee retention and higher levels of worker satisfaction; can provide an employment alternative to homecare workers who want to have a say in how their homecare business is run. In a homecare cooperative, caregivers are the owners of the business and make decision through a democratic process.
Why the Homecare Worker Cooperative Pilot?
- Between 2010 - 2030, the number of older (over 65) Americans is predicted to double to 73 million.
- 10,000 Americans are retiring every day.
- For the first time in history, people over 65 will outnumber children under 5.
- The percent of elderly that are 90 and over has doubled since 1980.
- Between 2010 and 2030, personal care workers will be the fastest growing job in the country.
- Demand for these positions expected to increase by 70% in the next 20 years.
- Currently there are about 3 million direct care workers and, by 2030, will need approximately 5 million.
- Low wages, few benefits make recruiting difficult.
- Aging workforce – need younger workers.
- High turnover rates.
What is a Homecare Worker Cooperative?
- A private business that is owned and operated by the people who work for the business.
- A worker co-op is owned democratically by its members - each member owns one share of the business.
- Member-owners set the wages, benefits and policies.
- Members have a say in how the business is managed.
- Members have a greater influence on the quality of care.
- Profits go back to the workers.
Homecare Worker Cooperative Academy Sessions will be delivered via Zoom. These 1 ½ hour sessions are tentatively scheduled for May 4 – June 8.
Session 1. May 4
MAKING DECISIONS – DEMOCRACY IN THE WORKPLACE
Goals: Participants review and practice different decision-making models, participants understand the roles of the Board/Manager/Members in co-op governance.
Session 2. May 11
LAYING THE FOUNDATION – BUSINESS BASICS
Goals: Participants create a basic business plan, Identify the skills and experience needed to run the business and take inventory of the group’s skills.
Session 3. May 18
SHOW ME THE MONEY – UNDERSTANDING YOUR CO-OP FINANCES
Goals: Participants learn how to read financial statements, understand basic financial terms and systems used in their co-op. Participants understand how financial decisions are made in the co-op.
Session 4. May 25
TELLING YOUR STORY – MARKETING YOUR CO-OP
Goals: Participants will develop a one-page marketing plan and will learn how to market their co-op and how to train other co-op members to do the same.
Session 5. June 1
PEOPLE MANAGEMENT – INSPIRATION AND ACCOUNTABILITY
Goals: Participants will identity and understand the many accountability systems that will run through the co-op. Participants will practice “difficult conversations” and develop their active listening skills.
Session 6. June 8
MEMBER ENGAGEMENT – BRINGING DEMOCRACY ALIVE IN THE WORKPLACE!
Goals: Participants understand the importance of making democracy a priority in their co-op and have a plan to implement various systems for democratic participation within their cooperative. This session will facilitate discussion on building systems for meaningful member participation and power sharing within the co-op. Presentation will include testimony from Washington homecare co-op members on how their co-op brings democracy alive in the workplace.
Want to learn more about the Homecare Worker Cooperative Pilot Program?
Join us for an informational session on February 16 at 6:00 pm CST or February 17 at 1:00 pm CST
Register at https://go.unl.edu/homecareqanda
For more information, contact:
Cindy Houlden, Cooperative Development Specialist, email@example.com or 308-293-6417
Cooperatives are user-owned and user-controlled businesses formed to benefit a group of members. Cooperatives are designed to reward use, encourage users to commit to using the services, and encourage users to voice opinions about how the business is doing.
The Nebraska Cooperative Development Center (NCDC) is located in the Department of Agricultural Economics at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. NCDC programs abide with the nondiscrimination policies of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and the United States Department of Agriculture. NCDC is funded in part by the USDA RCDG Grant Program.