Direct Care Alliance Board Chair Tracy Dudzinski was at the White House last Friday for a briefing on cooperatives.
DCA: Who was there and what did you talk about?
TRACY: The National Cooperative Business Association invited leaders from 150 cooperatives across the nation to talk to the White House staff about what co-ops can do for the economy.
My agency, Cooperative Care, is a worker-owned home care cooperative, and I’m the chair of their board too. Cooperative Care was one of the featured success stories in the packet of information that NCBA made up for the White House staff. There were only eight or ten of them, so that was pretty good.
Did you get a chance to speak?
One of our allies from here in Wisconsin got the floor and talked about home care co-ops. Then she nodded at me and said I was from Cooperative Care and we were a success story, so I was able to speak a little about how we’re doing so well that we have hired 15 new people in the last year.
David Ward got in a good comment in the breakout session about the need for more direct care workers and how two kinds of home care are the two fastest growing job categories in the nation.
There were also a lot of networking opportunities at the reception afterward. I was able to educate a lot of people about home care co-ops and what we do and what a great place they are for job creation.
What’s next in terms of publicizing the benefits of co-ops?
They were talking at the White House about hosting a series of small town hall meetings with regional representatives from the White House staff to educate the public about co-ops. And there’s going to be a meeting in my state this June. I’ll be one of the speakers at that one.
Also, the White House staff gave us some next steps. Number one was to get our success stories out there, so people know that coops are good for the economy. And number two is to keep the pressure on the White House to make sure we get into their talking points. We told them we want them to mention cooperatives when they’re talking about job creation or small businesses.
Visit our new web page to learn more about Tracy’s and other worker-owned home care cooperatives, or to download a free toolkit on how to start and manage one of your own.