My name is Zeke Coleman, and I am proud to be a worker-owner with Our Harvest Cooperative. Working at one of CUCI’s co-ops has made a huge difference in my life. Before I came to Our Harvest, I worked for five years in a local food-processing plant. Even though I trained in new workers, they would be the ones promoted, instead of me. The company started using reduction techniques with the people of color, which meant that the company made work terrible for us.
Since joining Our Harvest, I am no longer stressed at work or discriminated against as a Black man. In fact, it’s the opposite. At OHC, I was just promoted to the Food Hub Coordinator position after 5 years within the packing, delivery, and sales operations there. The opportunities to learn new skills and receive training in a variety of jobs within the co-op prepared me to step up into the coordinator role.
CUCI has helped us create our own family-sustaining jobs and learn important skills, like understanding the finances of our business and how to analyze key elements of our operations. They have also helped us create a culture of real, deep respect and cooperation. I feel so good about the people I work with.