Neighborhood by neighborhood, Evergreen Cooperatives Corporation is creating economic breakthroughs in Cleveland–and through its Business Services consulting arm, well beyond. Evergreen catalyzes local, sustainable companies that offer their employee-owners opportunities for personal, financial and career success. This strategic community wealth-building creates meaningful jobs, keeps precious financial resources within the Greater University Circle neighborhood and sows the seeds for rebuilding the local economy. Sustainable companies and meaningful jobs – together they can stabilize, revitalize and transform communities and individuals.A Nationally Watched Initiative in Grassroots Economic Development:
Launched in 2008 by a working group of Cleveland-based institutions (including the Cleveland Foundation, the Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, Case Western Reserve University, and the municipal government), the Evergreen Cooperative Initiative is working to create living-wage jobs in six low-income neighborhoods, with a median household income below $18,500, in an area known as Greater University Circle.
The initiative was designed to create an economic breakthrough in Cleveland. Rather than a trickle-down strategy, it focuses on economic inclusion and building a local economy from the ground up. Rather than offering public subsidy to induce corporations to bring what are often low-wage jobs into the city, the Evergreen strategy calls for catalyzing new businesses, owned by their employees. Rather than concentrate on workforce training for employment opportunities that are largely unavailable to low-skill and low-income workers, the Evergreen Initiative first creates the jobs, and then recruits and trains local residents to fill them.