Las Vegas Worker Ownership Resources and Cooperative Services (LVWORCS) is an all-volunteer run cooperative incubator based out of Southern Nevada. Our primary goal is to help facilitate the development of a new worker-owned economy in Las Vegas through outreach, education, grant-research, networking, legislation, lobbying and counseling for worker self-directed enterprise development. Our members and volunteers come from a wide range of experiences and walks of life. LVWORCS formed in the summer of 2012 as a community organization and a student group at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. We were looking to improve social issues surrounding labor and unemployment by introducing the Union-Coop Model as a viable alternative.
Since our organization’s start in 2012, we have attended a wide array of events, held educational movie nights, counseled individuals interested in worker cooperative businesses, built up our social networks, raised a fair amount of membership capital, and helped to build other nodes of accessibility for worker cooperatives on a local level in Southern Nevada. Our members have also attended important conferences and networked with keynote worker coop projects worldwide, which include the Mondragón Corporation of Spain; the Union-Coop Initiative, which is the primary model under which we operate; The United Federation of Worker Cooperatives, to which we belong; the Arizmendi Bakery Association; as well as many other notable organizations operating locally and elsewhere.
Our organization started as a student group two years ago. Initially, we reached out to faculty and the student population, eventually moving toward the broader Las Vegas Community. Our membership is diverse and our name is known throughout Las Vegas. Currently we now operate as a project under a 501(c)3 non-profit known as the Center for Environmentally Recycled Building Alternatives (CERBAT). Our initial projects include the startup steps to open up a local food-hub which included a feasibility analysis, a potential café, an operating composting cooperative, and many other works in progress. As an organization dedicated to changing the horizon of labor and social justice, our aim is clear and precise in building an economy that works for all in Southern Nevada.
“We Cultivate Locanomy: Local Food, Local Jobs, Local Economy.”
Transforming the Las Vegas community through educating on cooperative principles, promoting economic fairness, growing an environmentally sustainable local economy, creating lasting economic opportunity and wealth, by incubating worker cooperatives.
Cultivating an environmentally sustainable community and thriving cooperative economy through dignified labor, workplace democracy, and 100% worker ownership.
LVWORCS is dedicated to educating others about worker cooperatives, creating family-sustaining jobs by organizing worker-owned cooperatives and growing the local economy.
Worker cooperatives are small business that are democratically owned and operated by the people that work there, and no one else. Worker-owners pay into their local taxes, spend the majority of their pay locally, source materials and services for their business in the local community, thereby developing local ownership of the economy. For more details on worker cooperatives, visit our FAQ page.
By producing sustainable employment opportunities through worker cooperatives, we are taking back our local economy from corporate control, generating wealth that circulates in the local economy, and in turn, empowering the local community.
We have spent more than two years building an all-volunteer worker cooperative incubator, starting as a student organization on the UNLV campus, and we have also grown into a community organization. Since our founding as an organization, we have made several accomplishments and have been building momentum throughout our journey.
Our past events, landmarks, and student/faculty/community outreach include:
- Registering as a UNLV Student Organization
- Establishing Resources in the William S. Boyd Law Library
- Hosting Co-op Film Nights (2013, 2014) featuring films such as “This Way Out,” “Shift Change,” and “The Corporation.”
- LVWORCS Booth at UNLV Student Involvement Fair (2013, 2014)
- Economic Film Festival featuring “Economic injustices and ways to fix these issues,” in conjunction with the UNLV William S. Boyd Law School (2013)
- LVWORCS Booth at Rebels Go Green (2013, 2014), hosted by UNLV Student Organization, Take Back the Tap
- LVWORCS Outreach at “First Friday” in the Downtown Arts District
- Classroom Presentations at UNLV
- Conferences and Professional Networking
- Cooperative Experiments such as catering at baseball games
We look forward to continuing our outreach and our work on various worker cooperative projects throughout the Las Vegas Valley. For more information on our past and future events and activities, see details on our events page.