USA Today Network PA State Capital Bureau: Pa. business owners join Wolf in push to raise 'embarrassingly low' minimum wage to $15

By Candy Woodall and J.D. Prose
USA Today Network's Pennsylvania State Capital Bureau, May 27, 2021. Also GoErie, others

Gov. Tom Wolf on Wednesday was joined by business owners and Democratic lawmakers in his latest push for a higher minimum wage in Pennsylvania. ...

Peter Barber, CEO and co-owner of Two Dudes Painting Company in Lancaster, said he pays a starting wage $14 an hour. After they've worked there for 90 days, he pays them $15 an hour. His company has about 65 employees. 

"I believe raising Pennsylvania's minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2027 will be good for workers, the community and our economy," Barber said. "I know from experience that paying a livable wage is also good for business."

Fair pay has been crucial to Two Dudes Painting Company's success, he said. The business has low turnover and is able to keep employees it works hard to train. Those employees take more pride in their work, are more reliable and productive, and provide better customer service, he said.

"Our people are our most important asset," Barber said. ...

Jennie Groff, CEO of Stroopies, a food manufacturer with 18 employees in Lancaster, said her business provides jobs to many refugee women, who were forced to flee their countries due to war or natural disasters. 

"From day one, we have been committed to providing meaningful employment and to creating a work environment where all of our employees are taken care of," she said. "Central to that commitment is paying a fair wage."

Stroopies starts its 12 manufacturing employees at $12 an hour and moves them up the wage ladder as quickly as possible, Groff said. 

"By treating our employees well, we've cultivated a sense of community, a sense of teamwork and incredible loyalty," she said. 

Paying a higher wage hasn't hindered Stroopies' growth. The business is expanding and adding another distribution center, Groff said. ...

Read more at Evening Sun

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