Wages (Women's Action To Gain Economic Security)

Rating: 5 stars   19 reviews

Issues:

Location: 1904 Franklin Street Suite 801 Oakland CA 94612 USA

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
2009 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

34 people found this review helpful

WAGES is an absolutely amazing organization doing very important "green jobs" work. They provide low-income women the training and support they need to form and operate successful worker-owned, environmentally-responsible cleaning cooperatives. WAGES clients are empowered to control their own destinies. They own their business, earn living wages, have health insurance for themselves and their families. WAGES trains coop members in environmentally preferable cleaning practices, using non-toxic products that have been carefully screened. This approach protects the workers and their clients from exposure to toxic chemicals, and reduces environmental impacts. I became aware of WAGES because two of the coops they formed, Natural Home Cleaning Professionals and Eco-Care Professional Housecleaning, became certified by the program I coordinate, the Bay Area Green Business Program. To be certified, Natural Home and Eco-Care had to demonstrate what they were doing to prevent pollution, conserve energy and water and reduce waste at their office and job sites. The women who operate these businesses are knowledgeable, skillful and motivated to provide excellent, environmentally-friendly service. That is a great testimony to WAGES, the organization that prepared them to succeed.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

seeing the confidence, pride and enthusiasm WAGES coop workers/owners exhibit when speaking about their businesses and their work.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Provide scores of low-income women with the wherewithal to improve their own lives, while offering superior, environmentally-responsible services to customers interested in greener cleaning.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-9-01

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

33 people found this review helpful

This is an amazing organization that has created very innovative ways for Latinas to own their own business and reduce pollution from household chemicals. I got to know WAGES 8 yeas ago and am inspired but their leadership connecting environmental and economic justice. Their impact promoting non-toxic cleaning and educating not just the cooperative members but their clients and other women. I have been happy with the excellent quality services and impressed with the confidence and team work that the women have.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the women's economic situation has improved they are creating a new business model

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Want to be more visible in general, including in the Latino community

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the strategic thinking ability and long term vision and dedication

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Very smart and professional and creative - this is new ground they are plowing in both economic and environmental fields

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Help them expand more quickly and teach others about the business model - it could be used in so many more contexts to help low-income workers

Ways to make it better...

I could afford to use them more!

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

fundraising and staff retention in the recession

One thing I'd also say is that...

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-4-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

25 people found this review helpful

The folks at wages didn't stop at just reforming home cleaning, they're now gearing up to create healthier and more fair conditions for those who clean the commercial sector! Their enthusiasm and commitment to help and assist others whose voice isn't as strong (or as understood, due to language barriers) is admirable and inspiring. As a commercial real estate advisor and local building owner, I'm thrilled at the opportunity to hopefully help such a great organization of passionate and skilled people.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the hope conveyed by the people they've helped.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

increase exposure to get the word out there.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the passion and commitment of its members and employees.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

enthusiastic.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

expand into other much-needed markets.

Ways to make it better...

I had been introduced to WAGES earlier.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

how to explain briefly all the good work they're doing.

One thing I'd also say is that...

WAGES is proof that a company doesn't need to be directly in GreenTech or the Green Collar industry to be able to make a positive impact on both the earth and everyone on it.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-3-01

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