Vermont’s worker co-ops span nearly every industry, from dining (Montpelier’s Woodbelly Pizza) to computer repair (Randolph’s Vermont Computing Cooperative), healthcare (PT360, a physical therapy clinic in Williston), and construction (Montpelier Construction, and Burlington’s Red House, TimberHomes Vermont, and New FrameWorks). The largest, by headcount, is the New School of Montpelier, whose staff of more than 60 serves students with disabilities, referred by public schools. The newest, the Marshfield Village Store, became a worker co-op in February, 154 years after its opening.
From Franklin County to Windham County, worker co-ops tell stories of experimentation, dedication, and solidarity among Vermonters who manage to combine idealism and business savvy. Eschewing the capitalist relations of production within a capitalist economy may not be easy, but something in the Green Mountains seems to have inspired an unusual number of people to try.