An important service of StepUp Wilmington is education.
We work hard to correct misconceptions, inform employers, and advocate for equitable practices. A StepUp Wilmington employee recently had an employer reach out to them because they had a couple of open positions they needed help filling. While the StepUp employee and their colleague were on the phone with him learning about the nature of the position, and ready to start the process of contacting our candidates, the employer mentioned the pay was $10 an hour. While $10 an hour is above the minimum wage set for the state of North Carolina, it is not enough to be considered a living wage for an adult. In New Hanover County the living wage for one adult to live on is $12.10 an hour working full-time. This living wage is calculated based on the real cost of living in our area. When you factor in a child (or other dependents), this living wage more than doubles.
It is a common misconception that one can live off of minimum wage if they were to simply budget differently. However, minimum wage does not cover the many necessary monthly expenses one has such as food, rent, transportation, and healthcare. Our StepUp employee explained this to the employer that reached out to them and asked if they would consider a higher wage. The hiring manager they spoke to was able to advocate to his Director to raise the hourly pay to $12.00 an hour—and they accomplished this despite the limitations of a nonprofit’s budget. Employers who are able to provide this living wage often experience benefits in both recruitment and retention. We at StepUp take pride in our reputation and services, and we strongly believe that we have a social responsibility to advocate for a sustainable wage. We look forward to placing one of our candidates at this organization and to finding well-paying employment for many more.
For more information on your local living wage, visit http://livingwage.mit.edu/
If you or someone you know is looking for a change, contact us to see how we can best support you.