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EmployIndy Initiative Recognizes Good Wages – Inside Indiana Business

EmployIndy has launched an effort to reverse the trend of people quitting their jobs because they aren’t making enough money or aren’t getting the benefits they need. The organization launched the Good Wages initiative, which certifies and highlights Marion County employers who offer full-time wages of at least $18 an hour and access to health insurance benefits.

“I think what matters most to employers who participate in this program [is] to have this opportunity to speak with other like-minded employers who want to make the same kinds of improvements to their salaries,” said Marie Mackintosh, Chief Strategy Officer of EmploymentIndy.

Mackintosh joined Beth Rovazzini, president of Indianapolis-based B&W Plumbing, on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick to talk about the program.

“Companies that have gone through our application process are either certified or committed, and they have access to a full catalog of resources from EmploiIndy and the network in addition to us amplifying the good work they do through many of our social media and marketing channels,” Mackintosh said.

The program grew out of a 2018 study by the Brookings Institution and the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, which found that $18 per hour, coupled with employer-sponsored health insurance, is the overall living wage for the Indianapolis area.

The initiative has about two dozen certified employers. Rovazzini says that being the only certified plumbing, heating and air conditioning company sets B&W apart.

“And it also lets our candidates know that this is a good job, that it’s different from some of the other jobs they might think of,” she said. “When you’re 18 to 21, there are a lot of jobs you qualify for. [for] because you are a beginner and you are not qualified, but it is difficult to know which ones can turn into careers and which ones offer better opportunities. And I think it will help identify our business as a better opportunity than others.

Additionally, businesses that do not yet pay a full-time wage of at least $18 per hour and/or offer access to health benefits may be granted “hired” status for the purpose of achieve certification within two years.

Committed GWI employers can receive initial support to develop a salary increase plan and achieve certified status, including technical assistance and networking opportunities.

Currently, Newfields and Second Helpings in Indianapolis are listed as committed GWI employers.

Mackintosh says the success of the initiative would include many employers in a variety of industries looking to elevate their space.

“This leads to better productivity and less turnover for these employers,” she said. “And then for the community, success looks like the community understanding the value of buying from those employers or engaging with the employers who do.”

The Good Wages initiative is part of EmployIndy’s Choice Employers program and was funded at its launch by a great from Lilly Endowment Inc. in Indy.