CWE Empowers Worker Coops to Succeed


Brightly Coop members graduate from Occupational Safety and Health Act class


Cooperative businesses put workers in charge of their own economic destinies and ensure that they see the profits of their own labor. CWE is committed to supporting coops and helping these workers succeed.
In recent years, CWE has partnered with a group of community and academic organizations to provide education programs specifically geared toward New York City’s growing cooperative businesses.
The Center for Family Life in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, has worked with CWE to train local coop members in health and safety curriculum. They provide a green cleaning class and an Occupational Safety and Health Act class for the Brightly Coop, a Brooklyn-based home cleaning services cooperative.



CWE has also provided funding for Cornell ILR School’s We Rise program in Queens, which supports domestic workers cooperatives, like childcare and eldercare providers. The program has provided a series of workshops covering health and safety, child development, social and emotional development, nutrition, and temperament assessment.
The workshops are a “train the trainer” model, and discuss each subject in depth with representatives of various coops, who in turn return to the workplace, to share the information and serve as in-house experts for their colleagues. CWE has provided translation services so training sessions can be administered simultaneously in English, Spanish, and Nepali, the three languages most commonly spoken by child and eldercare providers in Queens. The program has been presented in partnership with Adhikaar and the National Domestic Workers Alliance.
Northern Manhattan Improvement Coalition is working with CWE to train the members of Ecomundo, a home and commercial cleaning cooperative with 18 full-time and 5 provisional members. The classes cover all aspects of a successful cleaning business, including budgeting and fiscal management, cleaning systems, health and safety, and communications.
CWE has also partnered with NYCNoWC – the New York City Network of Worker Cooperatives – to provide budgeting and finance workshops at CWE’s 83 Maiden Lane education facility, with plans to expand the curriculum with a safety and health training later this year.
Through these programs, hundreds of New York City workers are gaining the skills and experience to work together and succeed in their own businesses.