Case Study: Central States Manufacturing, Inc. - CLEO Skip to main content


This case study examines employee share ownership at Central States Manufacturing, where the employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) shares stunning sums of wealth with employees. Central States designs its ESOP to allow participants to access a portion of their ownership wealth while they are still employed at the company, through hardship and service withdrawals. This may make the “wealth benefit” of employee ownership more meaningful to lower-wage workers navigating economic challenges. The case study adds to the discussion about how employee ownership can benefit low- and moderate-wage workers and close the wealth gap.