Building the High Road: Cooperative Anchor Institutions

By Jennifer Steward

The rise of Anchor Institutions

The Ohio Cooperative seeks to develop anchor institutions to support the development of entrepreneurial cooperative ecosystems. The entrepreneurial cooperative ecosystems will foster community development, job creation and growth. The cooperative supports the good workplace practices outlined by the High Road Workplace Project, launched by the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC).

The project is focused on creating and expanding incentives for businesses to adopt and scale High Road Workplace practices. The High Road Workplace Project examines and highlights the reasons such as-

  • Why the businesses adopt High Road practices?
  • What are the challenges they face in doing so?
  • What are the role public policies and market-based incentives play in accelerating the implementation of these practices?

Role of Anchor institutions

Anchor institutions are the institutions that once established tend not to move and are anchored in their communities. Several emerging trends related to globalization suggests the growing importance of anchor institutions to local economies including-

  • The decline of manufacturing
  • The rise of the service sector
  • A mounting government fiscal crisis

These anchor institutions have surpassed many traditional organizations. If the economic power of these anchor institutions were more effectively harnessed, they could contribute greatly to community revitalization and sustainability.

Many anchor institutions are high road employers and see the communities in which they operate and the products and service they provide as equally important to their financial success.

Benefits of High Road Workplaces

The Anchor institutions hold a long-term perspective and view the workplace as a means to create significant business and social impact.

The expansion of High Road Practices by engaging business, advocating for policy and media outreach reduce employee reliance on taxpayer-funded safety nets, put more money into our local economies, and improve the wellbeing and future prospects of families.

Other benefits of High Road Workplaces include-

  • Offer Flexibility to the public
  • Cultivate inclusion
  • Drive sustainable impact
  • Help in governing fair and transparent practices
  • Help in engaging with the communities
  • Manage the supply chain responsibly
  • Help in promoting health and safety

High Road Workplaces with Anchor Institutions practices and support workers and unleash their creativity and productivity to make the businesses successful. High-road employers emphasized that the benefits of increased productivity of invested long-term workers and the reduced cost of employee turnover outweigh the short-term costs of high-road practices.

The High Road Workplaces policies fell into the following three areas-

  • Provide livable wages
  • Maintain a healthy workplace
  • Create career ladders for employees through training and internal promotions policies

With anchor institutions, The Ohio Cooperative has the opportunity to create a clear framework in which to develop entrepreneurial cooperative ecosystems and become a sustainable high road employer.

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