Wellspring Cooperative is working in partnership with Springfield Technical Community College and community/labor organizations including the YWCA, Arise for Social Justice, United Food & Commercial Workers 1459, and the Association of Black Business and Professionals to develop a worker cooperative certificate program.
This program will be open to the community as well as students. The Co-op Boot Camp will include two classes. The first 4 week course will provide an introduction to cooperatives and give participants sound preparation for working in a cooperative. The second 11 week class will provide participants with the tools to start up their own cooperative business.
We will pilot the first 4 week class in September 2017 and plan to run the full two course program in the spring of 2018.
In order to raise awareness about the Co-op Boot Camp as well as about cooperatives in general, we are organizing a series of events in Springfield. Our first event was held on April 27th, with Jessica Gordon Nembhard, author of Collective Courage. Her talk on "Cooperatives and the African American Struggle for Justice, Survival and Economic Development" drew a diverse crowd of around 55 people. We wrapped up with an interactive exercise that lifted up new learnings, questions and ideas to grow the cooperative eco-system.
Lunch and Learn series. Lunch will be provided. Registration required.
June 28, 2017 - Lunch & Learn: Pioneer Valley's Wealth of Cooperatives will bring together a panel of workers from local cooperatives. Free event, lunch provided, registration required.
Check-in: 11:45am Program: 12:00-1:00
Venue: Scibelli Enterprise Center, 1 Federal St., Springfield, MA 01105
We are grateful for support from an Innovation Planning Grant from the Community Foundation of Western Mass.