Get Involved in Your Co-op Community: Become a Core Worker

Since the earliest cooperative businesses, members working at their co-op has been an essential ingredient in the cooperative model’s success. Today, some co-ops still require members to work a certain number of hours, a requirement we used to have as well. Now, while there is no requirement that members work, there is still an option to do so, by being a core worker.

Core workers have a unique opportunity to become more personally and directly involved in the community of our Co-op and its day-to-day operations. It’s a chance to see how things run and be a part of how it all happens, while getting to know our customers, other members and staff on a deeper level. Core workers also receive a minimum wage paycheck and a 6% shopping discount, so it’s also great way to earn some extra money.

There are two six-month terms for core workers, one starting in October and running through March, the other starting in April and running through September. The next term starts on April 1 and we have begun accepting applications. During the term, you will work two hours per week in one of three core worker positions: bagging at the front end, stocking bagels in the bakery, or assisting with cheese cutting/prep in the cheese department. Your paycheck and shopping discount will last for the length of your term. If you are currently receiving a work optional, senior, Co-op Cares, or council discount, you will receive only that discount. If you receive a discount from other member labor opportunities or support work, your end date for the 6% discount will be extended based on the additional hours you work.

There is an application process during which Human Resources and the hiring manager of each department review all applicants. Space is limited and the first slots are given to those member-owners who have never been a core worker before. Once all of those people have been given a shift, current core workers have a chance to continue if they would like, but do not have to go through the entire application process again. You can view and fill out the application here and the job descriptions here. When you apply, please also fill out and submit the shift preferences form found here.

If you have any questions, please contact member-owner services at 802-262-3202 or email us at