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The following background information has been removed from the main page, now that apprentice has become a formal agreement.


This is a work in progress, with the intent to have it agreed by members and ready for presentation to suitable apprenticeship applicants by the end of 2014.

An apprentice is a volunteer who has formally agreed to a long-term involvement with EcoReality, culminating in equity sharing and right of permanent habitation.

Apprenticeship and Membership are separate concepts. An apprentice is not necessarily a member, but an apprentice can become a member upon fulfilling all the requirement of membership and upon paying for a member share ($1,000).


Outstanding volunteers are invited by EcoReality to work toward a long-term relationship, whereby the volunteer can earn a permanent place at EcoReality.


In pre-industrial times, young people who wanted to learn a trade or craft would "apprentice" with a master for five to nine years, at which time, they would receive some award, such as a share of the master's business, or the right to set up one's own business. This seems like a good model for a low-energy future, when formal education and land tenure may be out-of-reach of most people. (Indeed, many young people have already become "indentured servants" to their student loans for much longer than five to nine years, and if they somehow get educated without a huge debt burden, they often become "indentured servants" to a mortgage ("death pledge") in order to have tenure on land.)

The time requirement is intended to be five years of full-time work, corresponding to fifty weeks of 40 hours per week, with two weeks off each year. This corresponds to 2,000 hours per year, or 10,000 hours in five years. This also corresponds to the "10,000 hour rule," by which some psychologists believe it takes to become proficient at some activity.

Allowing six years, rather than requiring that the 10,000 hours take place within five years, is intended to allow the apprentice "time out" for a personal activity during this period, such as travel, research, formal education, etc.

The amount of 100,000 shares is based upon the amount of equity that is required of funders in order to live at the EcoReality site. Funders are expected to invest $100,000, plus the cost of building a home. The apprentice will have 100,000, but will have to construct their own home. After the terms of the apprenticeship agreement have been met and the 100,000 Class B Investment Shares are awarded, the volunteer agreement may or may not be continued with the apprentice, depending on the situation.

Frequently Asked Questions

But 100,000 shares are worth $100,000, and at 10,000 hours, that's not even minimum wage! 
Keep in mind that the apprentice under a volunteer agreement is also receiving room and board, worth at least $850 per month in 2018. Combined with 100,000 Class B Investment Shares, that comes to $16.12 per hour, which is competitive with hourly wages for farm labour. If the apprentice were to live "on the economy" by renting an apartment and buying quality, local, organic food at the grocer, they could well pay double that amount, corresponding to $22.24 per hour that they would have to make on the economy to enjoy a similar standard of living.
What if I change my mind after starting, but before earning my shares? 
We will be grateful for your work as a volunteer intern during that period.
What if the six year deadline is approaching, but I do not have enough hours? 
The deadline is intended to keep people from putting fulfillment off forever. In exceptional cases, the apprentice can request that members meet and agree to extend the deadline.
I've put in my time, but I no longer want to be involved with EcoReality. Can I cash out my shares? 
You will receive Class B Investment Shares, which are formally specified as "non redeemable" by the co-op, so you cannot "cash out" these shares with the co-op. However, shares are "transferrable," with approval of the board. So you can market your shares to another party outside the co-op, but the board must approve such a transfer. If the new person is good for the co-op, board approval shouldn't be withheld without cause.


Remains on main page, locked.

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