Niki Okuk, the founder of RCO Tires, explains the unique business model she uses to run her sustainable tire recycling plant in Compton, California, in her talk on capitalism. She starts out by describing the sense of frustration working to make money for another person can bring, especially when one finds that they're being exploited or working towards a goal they might not support.
At RCO Tires, Niki Okuk has employed about 15 men to work for her, most of whom are convicted felons. She pays above minimum wage and has already recycled 100 million pounds of rubber, which converts to 21 millions gallons of oil. Although her company is still relatively small, she'd like her community-minded endeavor to become larger and eventually, "fire the boss."
Throughout her talk on capitalism, Niki Okuk drives the importance of bringing a sense of community to workplaces by hiring local, providing fair wages and putting worker needs above all else. By allowing workers to build the companies they work for, more sustainable and socially progressive businesses are made possible.
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