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Nonprofit Overview

Mission: WAGES’ mission is to build worker-owned green businesses that create healthy, dignified jobs for low-income women. In our cooperatives, women gain good jobs, develop new skills, become leaders in their communities, and increase their economic security.

Results: Over the past decade, WAGES has built four successful green housecleaning cooperatives serving the Bay Area that have given hundreds of women the opportunity to become financially secure, gain business skills, and lead healthier, fuller lives. Overall, co-op members earn 50-100% more than they would make working for a conventional cleaning company, and on average, their household incomes have increased by more than 50% since joining a WAGES affiliated co-op. Most have health and dental insurance, along with other benefits through the co-op, and members build assets through their retained earnings held within the business. The co-ops also prevent the release of thousands of pounds of harmful chemicals into our air and water each year. The two largest co-ops average 30 members each and 1 million in annual sales.

Target demographics: Since 1998, WAGES has focused on creating jobs for Latina immigrant women, who become members of housecleaning cooperatives that use environmentally friendly cleaning techniques to protect worker health and the environment, while building stable, lucrative businesses.

Geographic areas served: San Francisco Bay Area

Community Stories

6 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

32

Volunteer

Rating: 5

WAGES helps low income women improve their lives and their livelihood, through green jobs. WAGES seeds cooperative businesses in which women are worker owners, get benefits, make a decent salary, and protect the environment -and their health! by using eco-friendly cleaning products. I understand that most of these women more than double their income by becoming worker-owners of their own cleaning businesses. How cool is that? WAGES deserves to be the winner of the "green choice contest" as they are helping the planet every bit as much as they are helping deserving, hard working women. Go WAGES!

25

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering with WAGES in early 2009 and it has been a wonderful experience for me. Through volunteering with Wages I have learned so much about coops and the many benefits of being a worker owner-from additional job security, health benefits, and empowerment. I'm learning tons and excited to continue volunteering with WAGEs!

23

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The more I know about this organization, the more incredible I think they are. WAGES helps low income immigrant women form their own green cleaning co-operatives. I know that's a mouthful, but they have a ton of integrity and tackle loads of social justice issues: *empowering women *immigrant rights *business development in low-income communities *use of co-operative models *green cleaning *making work for all people dignified The women in the WAGES-built co-ops enjoy substantially better income and benefits than they did pre-co-op, and as co-owneres, they have a much greater stake in their work.

14

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is an organization that truly empowers community members and as such makes our community a better place enviromentally, financially as well as on the human level. My interest in volunteering at WAGES started when a close friend that cleans houses with regular non green products kept telling me of all thes symptoms that she has been having. I know she takes pride in her work but those products have taxed her health. WAGES is the alternative so that WAGES members can stay healthy, financially viable and consider the environment a top priority. Coming to the downtown office to volunteer is a fulfilling and great experience for me, people at the office are incredibly friendly and patient and they are so committed to their work.

25

Volunteer

Rating: 5

WAGES secures self-suficiency for immigrant women and contributes to a green and healthy environment by the services they provide. They innovative, precise and have a clear vision of community empowerment.

23

Volunteer

Rating: 5

WAGES is a great organization with a dedicated staff working toward improving the lives of immigrant families across Northern California. An organization that helps with the creation of housecleaning co-ops they do not only provide financial assistance, but also provide women with business development training, personal and leadership skills. At the same time taking care of the environment by making the co-ops eco-friendly with the products and techniques the house-cleaners use.