Economic Empowerment Project – The Economic Empowerment Project/Cooperative was initiated in Voces Latinas as Manos Unidas Creativas thrift Shop in July 2013. The Cooperative Model is such where all members who enroll are owners. It avails Immigrant documented and undocumented women, women at risk for violence in Jackson Heights, the ability to become independent and earn an income. It is a therapeutic place where women feel safe, receive onsite training on how to run a business. It provides the ability to have flexibility in scheduling hours of work, to bring your child to work with you which reduces social isolation, frustration and most importantly the woman having to stay in an unhealthy relationship due to economic reasons. The Economic Empowerment project functions to help the women in the community and the community in itself. To help build small businesses and keep and build revenue in the community.

There is an application and interview process that occurs at the Voces Latinas office by the active cooperative members. The interview is conducted by a cooperative member in conjunction with the Voces Latinas Program Coordinator. After the interview the cooperative members will review the application and contact the applicant. The selected applicant will undergo a *6 week or 3 month probationary period, pay a $10 membership fee and after completion she will then officially become a cooperative member.

The Cooperative member has the ability to work up to 15 hours a week and schedule her hours that would meet her need. Store hours are Monday through Saturday 10-6pm.