Friday, February 8, 2013

Job Opportunity: COLORS Co-Op Academy Coordinator

COLORS Co-Op Academy Coordinator
Location: Detroit, MI
Type of Job: Full-Time, Permanent

The Restaurant Opportunities Center of Michigan (ROC-Michigan) seeks a dynamic and entrepreneurial individual with deep ties to the food justice and worker cooperative movements who can play a leadership role in founding a COLORS Co-Op Academy for emerging, worker-owned good food businesses in Detroit. The COLORS Co-Op Academy is an intensive learning experience designed to cultivate new worker-owned good food businesses rooted in principles of democracy, sustainability, and justice. The COLORS Co-Op Academy will serve as a model to inform the launch of similar COLORS cooperative incubators around the country. We envision a community-based economy in which all people are contributing with dignity, respect, and ownership. We work towards this vision by developing worker cooperatives grounded in the leadership, resources, and needs of communities most affected by social and economic injustice. By linking our actions with movements for worker, food, and racial justice, we collectively re-imagine and transform our workplaces, communities, and local economies.

Organizational Background:
Founded in 2008 and based in Detroit, MI, the Restaurant Opportunities Center of Michigan (ROC-Michigan) is a non-profit, membership-based organization of over 1,000 restaurant workers. We are an affiliate of Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC-United), a national restaurant workers’ organization founded in New York City by restaurant workers displaced by the 9/11 World Trade Center tragedy. We are dedicated to improving working conditions and increasing opportunities for advancement in restaurants nationwide for the collective benefit of workers, employers, and consumers. We take a three-pronged approach to achieving change in the restaurant industry that includes: (1) campaigning for workplace justice; (2) conducting community-based research and policy work, and (3) promoting the ‘high-road’ to profitability through innovative employer partnerships, workforce development programs, and our family of COLORS Restaurant social enterprises. In ten years, ROC has become the nation’s leading restaurant worker organization. More information can be found at: and

Job Responsibilities Include:
Leading the COLORS Co-Op Academy
o Developing and ensuring continuous improvement of a COLORS Co-Op Academy curriculum developed in partnership with Cooperation Texas, an Austin-based cooperative incubator program;
o Conducting outreach with community-based partners and allies to recruit Co-Op Academy participants;
o Facilitating Co-Op Academy participant workshops in workplace democracy, food justice, and business development, as well as peer-to-peer learning sessions;
o Coordinating support services for participants, including legal and marketing assistance, mentoring
opportunities, post-graduation coaching, and micro-loans

Supporting overall organizational and program growth
o Developing and maintaining relationships with key Co-Op Academy local and national partners including: ROC-United, Cooperation Texas, Community Food Empowerment Directive (CoFED), Fair Food Network, the Urban Communities Clinic, local community colleges, and Jackie Victor, co-founder of Avalon International Breads;
o Planning and implementing program communications and marketing;

Attending cooperative conferences and building relationships with movement leaders;
Participating in a formal evaluation to identify best practices for scaling the local model nationally;
Innovating programs to leverage and/or create organizational synergies between the Co-Op Academy
and our non-profit COLORS Restaurants

Intensively coaching and supporting the development of worker-owned, good food enterprises in Detroit
o Providing intensive cooperative and business consultation, based on the developmental stage of each incubated cooperative, to up to three student teams who will be enrolled in the Co-Op Academy per year, as well as providing post-graduation coaching services;
o Playing a leading role in working with local and national staff and allies to assess the feasibility and
possible launch of a COLORS Co-Op Academy ‘teaching enterprise’ that would incorporate cooperative leadership principles

Required Skills and Qualifications:
-Willingness and motivation to play a founding role in launching a good food cooperative incubator that will be shaping the development of a national program;
- Strong background in worker-cooperative business development or the equivalent;
- Management experience in a food enterprise or the equivalent;
- Excellent verbal and written communication, including proficiency with Microsoft Word, Excel, Email, Internet and social media;
- Ability to work effectively with diverse populations, including Academy participants, customers, and allies;
- Ability to work flexible hours, including evenings and weekends based on Academy participants’ schedules;
- Strong commitment to movement-building and social, racial, economic, and food justice

Desired Qualifications:
- Knowledge of and/or experience with popular education;
- A strong background or interest in worker and/or community organizing and/or economic development;
- Spanish-language proficiency;
- Culinary background and/or familiarity with food production;
- Commitment to grow with the organization

People of color and women are encouraged to apply. We are willing to consider applicants from outside Southeast Michigan who are willing to relocate to metro Detroit for this position.

Starting salary of $35,000 is negotiable based on experience. Featured benefits include generous paid time off as well as health insurance.

How to Apply:
Please send a (1) resume and (2) cover letter as soon as possible to and include “Co-Op Academy Coordinator” in the subject line of your email.

Restaurant Opportunities Center of Michigan, 311 E. Grand River Ave., Detroit, MI 48226
Attn: Minsu Longiaru, Executive Director, (313) 962-5020

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