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U.S. Conference of Democratic Workplaces October NYC

U.S. Conference Of Democratic Workplaces

The next national worker cooperative conference will take place October
13-15, 2006 in New York City. We are delighted to be able to hold the
conference at the Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies at
the City University of New York

New York City! Won't that be expensive?

It doesn't have to be. The conference planners are making every effort
to keep the cost of the conference down so that it is accessible to
anyone who wants to come. We have booked a large block of affordable
rooms at the Vanderbilt YMCA and West Side YMCA. We will also offer free
housing at local homes to anyone who wants it. All conference meals will
be provided at an affordable price (we are currently researching
catering options - if you know of a good one, contact the USFWC office).
New York City offers exciting opportunities to connect with new worker
cooperatives, organized labor, community economic development groups,
international movements and presenters. We'll do everything we can to
make it easy to get to and from the city and the conference site. Look
for housing and ride boards online this summer.

What's this conference about?

We're still planning it, of course, but we can tell you a few things for
sure. The conference will offer a mix of workshops on everything from
how to start a worker co-op to personnel policies to franchising and
growth to the state of the economy and how it affects worker
cooperatives. We're also planning a special track of workshops focused
on Building Community Wealth, which will explore how we can strengthen
worker co-ops, as a community-based model of ownership, to address
social and economic inequities. This conference will also be the first
official meeting of the members of the U.S. Federation, at which the
Federation will hold elections, form working groups, and determine our
next steps.In addition to workshops and meetings, we'll also have time for worker
co-ops in similar regions and industries to meet. There will be
scheduled time for individuals in co-ops and the public to meet with
technical assistance providers, developers, and benefits vendors (health
benefits, pensions).

We're pleased to announce that the conference will feature a showing of
The Take, the documentary about the worker cooperative movement in
Argentina, where workers saved their jobs by taking back idle factories
and putting them to work. It's an inspiring movie, and filmmaker Avi
Lewis will be there to present it and talk about recent developments.
Plan to stay for Sunday afternoon to watch The Take.

When and where can I register?

Registration for the conference will begin in May, and will be available
online at this site. Those on the USFWC mailing list will also get
materials in the mail in May. Contact the USFWC office to be added to
the mailing list. Early registrants will receive a 10% discount, so plan
to register soon!

Is there a special registration deal for members?

You bet there is. Members of the U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives
receive a 20% member discount to the conference. Join today

Will there be travel subsidies and scholarships?

We are consciously keeping the registration fees low so that all workers
can attend. We will also provide a limited amount of scholarships and
travel subsidies to the conference. More information on scholarships and
subsidies will be available in May. You can also sponsor a worker to
attend the conference by making a donation to the USFWC earmarked
"conference scholarship."

How can I help with the conference?

We are working with volunteers on all aspects of conference planning
from now through October. We are especially in need of people to help
with regional coordination and recruitment, publicity and outreach, and
logistics planning. Contact the USFWC office if you'd like to help, and
let us know your availability, areas of interest or expertise, and
anything else that might help us place you in the best possible
volunteer slot.

Information on the founding conference:

The first U.S. Conference of Democratic Workplaces took place in
Minneapolis, MN from May 24-26, 2004 at the Hubert Humphrey Institute
for Public Affairs. The U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives would
like to thank all of our sponsors, especiallythe sustainers of the
conference, The Cooperative Foundation and the Eastern Conference for
Workplace Democracy.