ESOP and a New Wave of Local Awareness  - CLEO Skip to main content


It has long been apparent (although often overlooked) that the most effective way to promote employee ownership is through local influence. More than 40 years from the adoptions of the first ESOPs (more if you count the original Kelso Plans that were formed pre-ERISA), it should be no surprise, then, that the original clusters are now the hubs of larger clusters of ESOP companies that followed them into existence. By extension, many of us in the employee ownership community believe that the key to increasing the number and coverage of employee ownership plans in the U.S. is not to focus exclusively on federal tax and other initiatives, but to create more local and regional information and support services to encourage and help to build employee ownership where it exists – in our communities.

By taking the great example of regional ESOP promotion pioneers, engaging the University of California in the effort and working to engage other educational institutions as well as leaders in business and the local employee ownership community, we believe that it will be very possible to build strong regional support for the idea that communities ought to be the most active supporters of employee ownership.