My good friend Corey Rosen, who founded the National Center For Employee Ownership and has done as much as anyone to spread the word about the economic power that comes from worker-owners, posted smart remarks encouraging business owners to think of selling to employees as a sort of graduation, or promotion.

The NCEO is a fabulous resource for entrepreneurs considering an exit strategy, and also for companies that have already formed an Employee Stock Ownership Plan, or ESOP, or operate under another ownership format that includes employees.

ESOPs are great at helping employees achieve retirement security through ownership that outperforms the S&P 500 and, as readers of this column know, ESOPs also outperform during recessions.

For business owners considering Corey’s recommendation, the example of Ed Schweitzer is must reading.

Millions of U.S. workers are employed by more than 7,000 ESOPs. To see the range of companies and industries involved, peruse the NCEO’s list of the 100 Largest Employee-Owned Companies.