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Meet The Black Car Fund’s Ira Goldstein, New York, NY

With the restructuring of our dues for 2018, we’re interviewing members who’ve chosen the Leadership membership-service level to hear what they have to say about their work and what TLPA does for their companies.

The Black Car Fund is, in Ira Goldstein’s words, a little bit of an “unusual” type of member.

A nonprofit based in New York City, The Black Car Fund is an innovative organization that provides workers’ compensation to roughly 150,000 drivers throughout the state. The organization is driven by a model that just might be the way of the future.

The fund administers safety and health programs, as well as workers’ compensation benefits to for-hire drivers through a unique surcharge model. For every ride, a 2.5 percent charge is tacked onto the fare, which is then remitted to The Black Car Fund for workers’ compensation. The fund gives independent contractor drivers access to affordable benefits.

Such a business model has taken on new importance, even a sense of urgency, in the current economic climate. Some experts believe that within a decade, independent contractors could account for nearly 50 percent of the American workforce.

But, The Black Car Fund’s work expands well beyond workers’ compensation. The fund also pays its drivers to take enhanced defensive driving classes and wellness classes. What’s more, the fund recently added a death benefit for its drivers, so if a driver dies on the job, his or her beneficiaries could be compensated. Now the fund is exploring new ways to give the drivers additional health-related benefits.

Goldstein, a long-time member of the transportation industry, loves the work the fund does.

“I’ve always enjoyed the public service aspect of it,” he said. “This job allows me to continue that, and a lot of our drivers are a part of an immigrant population and come from countries where worker’s compensation doesn’t exist. We do outreach to let them know they have this benefit, and I get a lot of satisfaction from that.”

And for Goldstein, a leadership-level membership with the TLPA is an opportunity to help others do the same while benefiting the fund.

“I’m always open for any questions, and if anyone is interested in the business model at The Black Car Fund or any other issues that may arise, my door will always be open,” he said. “We at the fund think it’s important to be involved and understand what’s going on, and TLPA allows us to do that. I’m a big believer in the TLPA.”

Posted 3/13/2018 12:08:06 PM