"It is time to start thinking about new business models," says Sanders. "How do we create decent paying jobs? How do we empower working people?
In one bill, the U.S. Labor Department would give funding to states to expand employee ownership centers.
Sanders says states can learn from Vermont's Ownership Center and its more than 30 employee-owned businesses.
The second bill would create a U.S. employee ownership bank to give loans to help workers buy their own.
Sanders was joined by several Vermont employee owners at the conference.
"At Gardener's Supply, we share ownership and wealth with all our employees," says Gardener's Supply President Jim Feinson. "They're able to build healthy retirement accounts."
They all were in favor of his new legislation.