In a speech made today (3/23) to the National Community Reinvestment Coalition annual conference, Federal Reserve Board Governor Sarah Bloom Raskin highlighted the innovative work of the Evergreen Cooperatives:
“Anchor institutions,” such as hospitals and universities, which are firmly rooted in their locales, can also be powerful engines for job creation in their communities. Anchors may include cultural institutions, health care facilities, community foundations, faith-based institutions, public utilities, and municipal governments. These institutions have the potential to generate local jobs through targeted procurement purchases of food, energy, supplies, and services from local businesses. This can be a substantial, positive development in the local economy.
The Evergreen Cooperative in Cleveland, Ohio, is an example of a network of worker-owned businesses, launched in low-income neighborhoods, to support local anchor institutions. The cooperatives were initially established to provide services to local hospitals and universities that had agreed to make their purchases locally. This model is effective because it capitalizes on local production, and because it forges a local business development strategy that effectively meets many of the anchor institutions’ own needs.