ICA Reports & Case Studies

While much of the work ICA conducts is for clients, and is therefore confidential, in addition to the many tools & resources we create for worker co-ops and social enterprises, we have produced a number of public reports over the years.

Co-op Conversion at Scale

ICA authored the study Coop Conversions at Scale for Capital Impact Partners and Citi Community Development. The study examines the market potential for converting conventional businesses to worker cooperatives across certain sectors and regions. 

Healthy Foods, Healthy Communities

ICA authored the study Healthy Foods Healthy Communities: The Social and Economic Impacts of Food Co-ops, which quantifies the impact food co-ops have on their local community and compared their performance to conventional grocery stores. The study’s compelling results demonstrate the many ways that food co-ops do well while doing good. The report, commissioned by the National Cooperative Grocers Association found that on local purchasing, economic impact, compensation, and environmental stewardship, food co-ops outperform their conventional counterparts. Download the infographics related to the study.

Employment Outcomes and Performance Benchmarks for Programs Serving Homeless Job Seekers

This report commissioned by the Butler Family Fund, assessed the effectiveness of programs serving homeless job seekers. The findings of the report indicated that the inconsistencies in data collection and definitions presented significant challenges for evaluating the effectiveness of the various programs. Furthermore, if One-Stops are to serve significantly more homeless individuals, their performance expectations will need to be adjusted to reflect the reality of working with a population that has more substantial barriers to employment.

Home Economics:

The Business Case for the Green House® Model

The Green House model radically transforms institutional care to create real homes where residents and direct care staff enjoy meaningful lives, significantly enhanced control, and improved care outcomes. In this report, ICA examined the various cost elements and demonstrated that for many nursing homes, the increased occupancy rate and enhanced resident outcomes likely makes a Green House Home both something good for their residents and their balance sheet.

Financial Implications of THE GREEN HOUSE® Model

This article, from the 2011 Seniors Housing & Care Journal which won the GE Award for Best Research Paper found that operating costs for Green House homes were in line with comparable nursing homes. These research results, coupled with anecdotal experience, indicate that Green House homes offer a strong option for organizations to explore as they seek to address current and future challenges in their nursing home operations and markets.

Getting to Work: ICA’s Social Purpose Staffing Companies

ICA has used an enterprise strategy to help people with barriers to employment enter and succeed in the workforce for many years. We have helped establish a number of social purposed staffing firm, many dating back to the 1990’s. While some of these have ceased operations during this time, most of these firms operated for more than 10 years and helped thousands of people. This study highlights some of this earlier work that eventually became the foundation of the Alternative Staffing Alliance, a network of over 50 alternative staffing organizations that employ roughly 35,000 people with barriers to employment each year.

For more reports and studies on the Alternative Staffing model, please visit the Alternative Staffing Alliance Website.

The Right Jobs:
Identifying Career Advancement Opportunities for Low-Skilled Workers

The Right Jobs is designed as a guide for workforce development practitioners and presents a systematic approach to evaluating occupations in terms of earnings, advancement potential, and accessibility. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, The Right Jobs applies a series of screens that yields a list of 16 specific occupations that hold good potential for lifting thousands of Americans out of poverty into the middle class.

Cooperative Home Care Associates: From Working Poor To Working Class. Frank Adams, Fred Gordon, & Richard Shirey.

This ICA case study chronicles the success of the South Bronx worker-owned home health care company that has become a model for similar companies in other inner city communities. (1991)  (pdf coming soon)

Workers’ Owned Sewing Company: Making The Eagle Fly Friday: Frank Adams & Richard Shirey..

This ICA case study chronicles the history of this successful, worker cooperative from its creation in 1978 to the reception of its General Manager at the White House in 1993.  (pdf coming soon)

Las Flores Metalarte: Rebecca Bauen.

An ICA case study in English and Spanish of the development of a successful community-based, worker controlled furniture factory in rural Puerto Rico. (1996) (pdf coming soon)

Marland Mold: Mark Miller.

This case study describes how the union employees of a mold maker in western Massachusetts purchased their company rather than see it closed and managed to double the size of the firm.  (2002) (pdf coming soon)

Employee Ownership: The Vehicle For Community Development and Local Economic Control: James Megson and Michael O’Toole. 1993.

This paper discusses some of the underlying reasons for the economic decline of our neighborhoods and shows how employee ownership can be used as a strategy for rebuilding the economic base in an equitable and sustainable way.  Appendices include several brief case studies and descriptions of ESOP and co-op tax benefits.

ESOPs, Unions,& The Rank and File: Frank T. Adams and Gary B Hansen.

A useful reference for union members at a cooperative or a businesses with an ESOP.