July 12, 2022

The Time for Employee Ownership Is Now

Guenevere Abernathy
Executive Director, North Carolina Employee Ownership Center

It’s a uniquely exciting time to be in the employee ownership space. Multiple pieces of legislation are being introduced and voted on both federally and in states across the nation. State centers around the country are back hosting in-person events that are boldly moving the employee ownership community forward. And here in North Carolina, we’re on the ground helping make employee ownership happen.

The North Carolina Employee Ownership Center (NCEOC) has been hard at work reaping the harvest that was sown by our staff and board over our three-year history and even before that in some cases. We’re especially excited to have worked on employee ownership trusts (EOTs), a form of employee ownership that has emerged as an alternative to ESOPs and worker cooperatives. We celebrated in June 2021 the conversion of North Carolina’s first EOT, ShopBot Tools. We recently partnered with ShopBot and the Employee Ownership Expansion Network to produce a video sharing their story. Check it out below.


This October for Employee Ownership Month, NCEOC will continue to celebrate ShopBot as well as other recent employee ownership conversions with an event in Winston-Salem. We will bring together companies that are new worker cooperatives, EOTs, and ESOPs to recognize and celebrate them. NCEOC’s mission is to protect jobs, increase community wealth, and create a more vibrant, inclusive economy through employee ownership. We do this through telling stories, forging partnerships, and providing unbiased information. We hope that this event will help us tell the story of a more inclusive NC economy with each new business conversion. Keep an eye out for more information as we put the details together.

NCEOC also successfully partnered with the NCEO to bring Is an ESOP Right to You? to Charlotte, NC, late last month. NCEOC led a session on alternatives to ESOPs and will share information about EOTs and worker cooperatives to attendees so that all options are considered. We look forward to future NCEO events occurring in our state!