New Cleveland Fund Will Acquire Businesses and Sell Them Back to Workers

Tameka Thomas had returned to society after a five-year prison sentence, and a month after her release, she landed a job with Evergreen Cooperatives in Cleveland with help from a re-entry transition program.

“I thought it was going to be really, really hard to find employment when I came home,” Tameka Thomas says. “I am so thankful for Evergreen for giving me a second chance and for believing in me and just trusting in me and just giving me the opportunity to prove to everyone that even though I made a mistake, that mistake doesn’t define me.”

While Thomas was grateful for the job when she landed it, she didn’t realize that she had found herself in a cooperative business — that is, a business where the workers collectively own the business, make major management decisions and share in the profits.

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