At Chelsea Green Publishing in White River Junction there was recently a "corporate takeover" of sorts.
"While we could have sold the company, we felt that that would have basically destroyed the company," said Margo Baldwin of Chelsea Green Publishing.
Instead of selling out, co-founder and president Margo Baldwin decided to look within.
"It's like the company gives money to another part of the company to be able to buy the shareholders out and then award the company to the employees," Baldwin said.
Now this publishing company, which is behind a number of bestselling books, is 80 percent employee owned. A big benefit-- taxes.
"What it enables the company to do is basically buy out the shareholders with pretax earnings which is a huge advantage actually," Baldwin said.
It is a business model that is embraced at King Arthur Flour in Norwich. That company has been 100 percent employee owned for over 10 years.
"It means we are not working for anyone but ourselves," said Steve Cochran of King Arthur Flour.
Work on a multimillion dollar expansion at King Arthur is nearly complete-- a project that employee-owners can take personal pride in.
"You are working for the person sitting next to you and that, we believe, brings more value to the company and people are more engaged in working toward a common goal," Cochran said.
According to the Vermont Employee Ownership Center, more than 30 Vermont-based companies are at least partially employee owned-- companies that employ more than 3,000 people. And the center, which guides businesses through the process, says it's a growing trend with benefits like increased job retention, living standards, and community stabilization.
Baldwin believes it's the future of the labor movement.
"If the labor movement wants to regain its place in society is to really embrace employee ownership and shared ownership where everyone is working toward the same goal," Baldwin said.
A goal, in this business' case, of printing books, which employees now have a personal stake in.
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