A Visual Guide to Employee Ownership
From the National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO)

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Employee Voices

Read how employee-owners experience working at an employee ownership company.

Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez recently discussed how ESOPs can play a part in building an economy that works for everyone. In this section, employee-owners themselves speak.

New Belgium Brewing

New Belgium Employees

Industry Craft beers

Employees and locations 600 employee-owners, Ft. Collins, CO, and Asheville, NC

Ownership plan ESOP since 1999, currently 100% employee-owned

Employee-Owners Say:

"We are given a key to the whole brewery on our first day. This would not happen without the culture of ownership and the trust that comes with it. Ownership equals trust, and trust breeds productivity." Anonymous New Belgium employee-owner

"Community is a collective effort. Employee ownership is a step toward building a community within the workplace. It gives all of us something bigger to connect to. Building culture and community is everyone's job."Anonymous New Belgium employee-owner

"I'm not just a number, I am a person. Being considered a 'coworker' is more empowering than just an employee. I work hard to live up to that title." Anonymous New Belgium employee-owner

South Mountain Company

Industry Home design and construction

Employees and location Over 30 employee-owners, Martha's Vineyard, MA

Ownership plan Founded in 1975, became a worker cooperative in 1987

An Employee-Owner Says:

"As owners we all profit during the good times; similarly, during hard times we each share responsibility for those hard decisions that affect the welfare of coworkers and their families. As an owner it is a privilege to be part of a process that looks to each other for the solutions that will keep the whole organization strong and healthy." Ken Leuchtenmacher, cabinetmaker

SRC Holdings

Industry Diversified

Employees and location Over 1,200 employee-owners, Springfield, MO

Ownership plan Became ESOP-owned in 1983

An Employee-Owner Says:

"One of the key lessons we learned on the job by participating in SRC's ESOP program was to identify your weaknesses and improve upon them. Eventually I realized that those lessons also applied to my personal life, and it changed everything for me. It allowed me to come up with a plan and to execute on it. When I got my first ESOP statement, it had probably 50 cents in it. But toward the end, it was incredible." Warren Burros

Warren was a warehouse operator at SRC for 31 years before he retired in 2006. When he first joined the company, he was, in his words, struggling to survive, let alone raise his family. Now 74, Warren is a nationally certified credit counselor who helps people turn their own financial lives around.

Web Industries

Industry Flexible materials conversion and specialty contract manufacturing

Employees and locations Over 350 employee-owners in in CT, GA, IN, MA, TX, and VT

Ownership plan 100% employee-owned since 2000 through an ESOP established in 1985

Employee-Owners Say:

"Each person has a stake in the company—you can see it, you can feel it. Not only am I happier at work, but I now have a financial plan for my future (in my ESOP) that I didn't have before (and never expected to have). I wish every company in the U.S. were an ESOP company. But mostly, I wish I had found Web 20 years sooner." Rosanne Wheeler-Flint, Customer Care Specialist

"On any given day, one would be hard-pressed to find an employee owner at Web who isn't happy to work here. We teach one another to understand the business and to take part in the challenge of growing it for ourselves, our families, and our successors—no matter what our titles may be." Veronica Ortiz, Process Analyst

KTA-Tator

KTA Employee at Work

Industry Assessment and protection of steel and concrete structures

Employees and location Over 200 employee-owners, headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA

Ownership plan ESOP-owned since 2010, 100% ESOP-owned in 2016

An Employee-Owner Says:

"Since becoming an employee-owner in an ESOP organization, I have organically garnered a greater sense of pride in what I do on a daily basis knowing it affects everyone in the organization, top on down. ESOPs are all about the American Dream of ownership and giving employees the ultimate sense of empowerment." Nick Bongiovanni, Procurement Manager

King Arthur Flour

Industry Baking products, supplies and education

Employees and location Over 380 employees in Norwich, VT

Ownership plan Founded in 1790, ESOP since 1996, 100% ESOP-owned since 2004

Employee-Owners Say:

"The ESOP form of ownership is the best way that I have seen for middle class Americans to save for a secure retirement since the disappearance of the pension system. For the company, the benefits in recruiting and employee retention are substantial." Jay Boundurant, Financial Analyst

"It is important for employee-owned companies to teach financial literacy; through the classes held at King Arthur Flour I have been witness to and participated in engaging conversations with employees who demonstrate a much greater understanding of not just our business finances, but how to apply it to their own finances as well." Patti Vaughn, Director of Finance & Business Process Improvement