In March 2008, JE launched our Living Wage Certification Program, which identifies and promotes local employers that pay a Living Wage. Although the program originated in Buncombe and Transylvania, we now have employers in several counties in WNC. Since 2008, we have Certified 400+ local employers.
Our program is an innovative approach to addressing the living wage issue modeled after a program initiated by the Tompkins County Workers’ Center in Ithaca NY. Our program is currently the largest of its kind in the country and we worked with the Tompkins County Workers’ Center and Interfaith Worker Justice to provide a model for other communities to use.
The Certification Program aims to reward existing Living Wage Certified Employers in our community, to provide employers with tools and incentives to increase workers’ wages up to a living wage, to connect consumers to employers that provide a living wage ,and to promote a just and sustainable local economy. It is a great way for a local employer to set themselves apart in our community, to promote the fact that they acknowledge the value of their employees and to be rewarded for it by local consumers who understand the value of a living wage.
For additional information and commonly asked questions about the criteria for certification, click here.