For directions to the OEOC and Kent State University, Click here

Overview

The Ohio Employee Ownership Center (OEOC) is a non-profit, university-based program established in 1987 to provide outreach, information, and preliminary technical assistance to Ohio employees and business owners interested in exploring employee ownership. The OEOC provides ownership training on a single and multi-company basis to existing employee-owned firms and is funded by grants from the Ohio Department of Development, private foundations, dues from firms belonging to Ohio's Employee-Owned Network, income from training contracts and donations.

OEOC Impact on Ohio's Economy

 

 

McGilvrey Hall, Kent State University,
Home of the OEOC

 

History

The origins of the OEOC lie in a series of research projects conducted between 1984 and 1986 by Dr. John Logue of Kent State University's Political Science Department. This research explored the impact of employee ownership on Ohio's economy and concluded that it did have a positive effect on the local economy. However, it was also found that the utilization of employee ownership was limited, especially in cases where job loss was threatened by the lack of timely and accurate information on how to successfully pursue an employee buyout of the facility.

 

Objectives & Services

The OEOC's information and outreach activities are designed to promote the possible uses of employee ownership under a variety of circumstances, ranging from succession planning to employee buyouts. The OEOC provides free preliminary technical assistance to companies and unions that are interested in exploring the possibility of employee ownership for their particular situation. Although the Center does not provide professional legal, accounting or valuation services, it does maintain a database of lawyers, investment bankers, valuators and other professionals who specialize in providing ESOP services.

 

Education & Training

While ownership is a necessary condition for company performance improvement, it is insufficient by itself. A number of studies have demonstrated that it is the combination of employee ownership with structures for employee participation, training to understand those structures, and open communication about the business that lead to high performance in employee-owned firms. As a consequence, the OEOC provides advice to individual companies on structuring employee participation systems and conducts ownership education programs on a single and multi-company basis. The OEOC also provides specially tailored training programs to employee-owned companies on a fee-for-service basis.

 

Ohio's Employee Owned Network

The Network provides a forum for those working within employee-owned companies to learn from each other how to make employee ownership work more effectively at their firms. Coordinated by the OEOC since 1989, the Network facilitates communication among employee owners to help them climb the learning curve about how to run an employee-owned company. A second goal is to assist individuals and companies to experience the cultural change from conventional to employee ownership, where everyone feels the risk of ownership as well as sharing in the profits. With joint planning and financial support of member companies, the Network sponsors roundtables, forums, and training workshops which address the unique challenges of ESOPs.

 

Succession Planning Program

The OEOC teams up with the Greater Cleveland Growth Association's Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE) and CAMP, Inc. to provide a comprehensive series of succession planning seminars to area business owners. Program participants receive An Owner's Guide to Business Succession Planning, a Service Provider Directory of local practitioners, worksheets, selected readings and presenter packets. Experienced consultants are available to answer questions and there are opportunities to interact with other business owners. This program was initially funded by the The Cleveland Foundation and The George Gund Foundation as an effective means to retain jobs that might otherwise be lost from failure to plan for succession. It is now supported by private sponsors.

 

Resources

The OEOC has an active research and publication program on employee ownership. The Center publishes a monograph series as well as an occasional papers series and the newsletter Owners At Work.

For additional information about the OEOC, contact:

Ohio Employee Ownership Center
Kent State University
113 McGilvrey Hall
Kent, OH 44242-0001
Voice: 330.672.3028
Fax: 330.672.4063

Ohio Employee Ownership Center/Kent State University, Copyrightę 2001
For problems with or questions regarding this site contact oeoc@kent.edu