Throughout the worker cooperative movement, conferences are significant events that occur in various cities to discuss matters exclusively relevant to worker-owned businesses. Since the second year of its existence, LVWORCS has participated in multiple worker cooperative conferences around the United States. This serves the dual purposes of trading knowledge about worker cooperatives and strengthening our connection to the broader worker cooperative movement. The conferences that we have attended in the past include, but are not limited to, those organized by the United States Federation of Worker Cooperatives (USFWC), with which we are affiliated; however, they do not pay for our travel expenses.
Any member of LVWORCS can attend a conference to represent us. Our budget is sufficient to provide for at least one individual to fly to any US city as a conference delegate. Typically, 1-3 members of our organization volunteer to attend and expenses are provided from the organization’s budget, or are self-funded.
Among the worker co-op conferences that are taking place in the future are:
- The California Co-op Conference in Sacramento, CA; organized by the California Center for Cooperative Development, May 1 & 2, 2015
- The annual Western Workers’ Co-op Conference in Berkeley, CA; organized by the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives, September 20-22, 2015.
The co-op conferences our members have attended in the past include:
- Western Workers Co-op Conference in Portland, OR on Sept. 9 & 10, 2013
During this conference, we were able to acquire enough money to send one worker of LVWORCS to represent our organization and network with successful worker cooperatives in the West. During this conference, she participated in workshops focusing on successful cooperative practices and non-discrimination, while making lasting connections. When returning back to Vegas, our delegate brought back her learned skills, experiences, and knowledge to share with the other workers of LVWORCS which helped to strengthen our efforts. Also, she returned with informative handouts given to participants of these workshops and distributed to the other workers. Some of these handouts are used at our outreaching events to better educate the public about worker cooperatives.
- Union-Co-op Symposium featuring Mondragon USA and the United Steelworkers in Cincinnati, OH on Dec. 9 & 10, 2013
- USFWC Worker Cooperative National Conference in Chicago, IL, May 30-June 1, 2014