IEM has successfully delivered thousands of
With decades of project experience, they have provided
Worker-Owned Cooperative – A different kind of company.
Isthmus Engineering and Manufacturing, founded in Madison, Wisconsin, in 1980, is a prime example of a worker cooperative. In 28 years as a coop, the organization has grown to become a well-known and highly-regarded provider of automated machinery. The pride in ownership of each of their members has been a major contributor to their success.
Their worker cooperative serves the manufacturing sector of the economy. They design and build automated equipment used to make everything from potato chips and toothbrushes, to automobiles.
They are an organization of 48 people that has recently built a new 68,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Madison, Wisconsin. Their membership includes engineers, electricians, machinists, mechanics, and administrative personnel.
Isthmus Engineering is proof that cooperative businesses have much to offer both their workers and customers.
The company was formed in 1980 and morphed into a worker-owned
Isthmus laid off two paid-by-the-hour workers in 2009, but it still employs 20 non-owner assembly workers, he said. The directors have avoided further layoffs by agreeing to accept a lighter profit, and by juggling schedules between the machining, assembly and engineering departments.
“As a worker-owned company, we can make the decisions to take work at a lesser margin in order to keep people,” said Kessler. “We have reshuffled duties to keep the work that we do have from going out the door, while also spreading out the pain as much as possible.”
Did you know?
The solar panels mounted on Isthmus’ building generated 18,000 kilowatt-hours of power in their first year of operation.