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Fostering Employee and Community Based Ownership

Fostering Employee and Community Based Ownership

Job Stabilization & Asset Building:

Building a Democratic Economy Through Conversions

Workers often lose out when a business owner retires or when outside capital buys out a firm facing market challenges. ICA works with business owners of all types to preserve and improve the quality of jobs through converting their firm to a worker cooperative, a social enterprise cooperative, or a democratic ESOP. Using industry specific tools, we provide ongoing support for business expansion through building peer networks that can facilitate peer learning and group purchasing.

If you’re a business owner, interested in how employee ownership could help your firm, contact the ICA Group today, or check our our resources for business owners.

“There have been very few changes in the bylaws during more than two decades of cooperative ownership. The bylaws that ICA helped draft at the start have stood the test of time.”

– John Abrams, South Mountain Company


Chroma Technology – A manufacturer of precision lenses in Vermont, ICA assisted creating this hybrid structure. Neither a co-op, nor an ESOP, Chroma has a democratic management structure and shared ownership. This innovative approach meets the needs of the workers and the company and has positioned the company for significant growth.


The Portland Press Herald: In partnership with Ownership Associates, ICA assisted the Newspaper Guild in Portland, ME negotiate and ESOP at the Portland Press Herald when the long time family owner decided to sell the firm. The Portland Press Herald is the largest newspaper in Maine, and the work of the Newspaper Guild, Ownership Associates and the ICA Group put the paper on more solid footing to face the challenges ahead in an ever changing industry.


The Green Engineer: ICA assisted The Green Engineer, a sustainable design consulting firm convert to a worker owned firm in 2013. Incorporated as a Mass. Benefit Corporation and a Certified B Corp, the Green Engineer took its commitment to sustainability to an even higher level with employee ownership. Staff with at least two years service are eligible to become equal owners in the firm.  In the first offering, five staff members accepted the offer and they expect the ranks of worker owners to expand each year.