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Catalyzing worker co-ops & the solidarity economy

Worcester co-op businesses spread the wealth

A few weeks ago, Worcester-based video production and photography business Future Focus Media Cooperative incorporated in the state as an employee-owned cooperative, which means its four partners – and all future employees – will be equal owners.

“I just like the co-op model because of the idea of no bosses,” said Sergio Castillo, a partner in the 3-year-old business, with Worcester community activists Matt Feinstein, Dee Wells and Cedric Arno.

“Everyone gets the same number of everything,” said Mr. Castillo. He’s a Worcester native who graduated from the University Park Campus School several years ago, and is now pursuing a communications degree at Worcester State University.

Future Focus counts among its clients UMass Memorial Medical Center and Straight Ahead Ministries, which recently hired the group to produce a short documentary about Sheila Raye Charles, daughter of Ray Charles.

The company, which also trains high school kids in video production and photography, has grown under the auspices of the Worcester Roots Project, a nonprofit co-op incubator at 4 King Street.

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