Ohio Employee Ownership Center (OEOC)
The Ohio Employee Ownership Center (OEOC) serves Ohio's employee-owned companies and future employee owners. Funded by Federal and private foundation grants as well as by contracts for fees for services rendered, the OEOC provides information and preliminary technical assistance concerning broad-based business owner succession planning in addition to more focused succession planning via employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) and worker-owned cooperatives to owners interested in selling their company to their employees and to employees and managers interested in buying their companies. The Center is recognized as a Cooperative Development Center by the US Department of Agriculture.
The Center also provides training and organizational development services tailored specifically to the needs of individual employee-owned firms on a fee-for-service basis. The Center has pioneered programs in ownership, business, and financial training for non-managerial employee owners of Ohio companies. The OEOC has a significant applied research program. Of the 684 firms the OEOC has worked with to date, 92 companies employing 15,000 have implemented partial or complete employee ownership. These companies have to date created about $344 million in wealth for their employee owners and continue to create about $15 million in new employee wealth annually.
The OEOC also works with the 75 member companies of Ohio's Employee-Owned Network, providing multi-company training programs and customized single company training programs. In addition, the OEOC manages the Common Wealth Revolving Loan Fund (CWRLF), a not-for-profit loan fund whose mission is to support growth of existing and creation of new employee-owned firms. CWRLF is a certified CDFI (community development finance institution) and can make loans of up to $250,000 to a single borrower. With partners, CWRLF can make even larger loans.
The OEOC provides information for employees, managers, and company owners who seek to explore whether employee ownership makes sense in their firms and preliminary technical assistance to for those who wish to implement employee ownership. The Center also provides employee ownership and participation training through Ohio's Employee-Owned Network and for individual companies.
Ohio Employee Ownership Center
113 McGilvrey Hall
Kent State University
PO Box 5190
Kent, OH 44242-0001