Living Cities. a consortium of the world’s 22 largest foundations and banks including the Ford, Rockefeller and Bill and Melinda Gates foundations, will award $14.7 million in grants to the Cleveland Foundation to continue their model of Community Economic Development which includes creating worker cooperatives to serve large archor institutions.
Over the past five years, the Cleveland Foundation used its influence to enable discussions for the first time among the Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals and Case Western Reserve University about how they could pool their collective buying power. The foundation also led the effort to create new worker-owned cooperative companies based on the promise of such spending. So far, two companies -- Evergreen Cooperative Laundry and Ohio Cooperative Solar -- are up and running and employing 52 workers. Another, Green City Growers, is set to launch... The cash and loans from Living Cities will enable the foundation and its local partners to create eight or nine more worker-owned cooperatives by 2013. The companies could, for example, clean and maintain medical equipment, or assemble sterile kits of materials for use in hospitals.