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TBT with The Chamber Special Guest Patrick Conlon from Worker Ownership Resources & Cooperative Services (WORCS)
February 2 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
This 55 minute lunch mixer is designed to give you a break to socialize with the business community. We will have some trivia to lighten your spirits. This is a casual drop-in meeting. You are not expected to attend the whole meeting or all of the meetings. It’s free and fun!
WORCS (non-profit https://www.worcsusa.org) was founded in 2010 in the depths of the famous global financial crisis by Dr. Lisabeth Ryder, a lifelong labor activist who has been involved in the worker cooperative movement since the early 1970s. While worker cooperatives are by no means new to the United States, being popular among labor organizations in the 1800s, 60s and 70s counter culture movements, certain religious groups, and most notably, throughout rural America in the mid to late 20th century, many people existing in the mainstream of the country have never been exposed to the concept. Thankfully the overwhelming success of the Mondragon Cooperative Corporation in Spain as well as several examples around the world have provided us with an opportunity to showcase their economic triumphs as a viable and desirable economic alternative option.
WORCS seeks to become a catalyst in the building of the cooperative sector by creating spaces where* like minded people can meet, give introduction on what worker cooperatives are and why they are beneficial, help groups find institutions to get loans or methods of raising capital, give prospective worker-owners access to professionals when complex decisions need to be made, and offer services that will become
vital in America’s economic transition into a 21st century economy.
Patrick got his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Cal State Fullerton. Patrick has owned businesses over the last decade but noticed traditional business structures limited the options of his employees if they made valuable contributions. He became interested in worker cooperatives when he heard Dr Richard D Wolff speak in 2013. This experience inspired him to invite Dr. Wolff to Orange County for another speaking engagement to stir more interest and support in his own area. During the pandemic of 2020 he created the concept of Shop.coop to help support existing worker cooperatives, but also use the surplus to help new cooperatives succeed.