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EmployIndy pushes for $18 hourly wages in Indianapolis

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Posted at 4:55 PM, Apr 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-26 18:50:47-04

INDIANAPOLIS — EmployIndy is partnering with Indianapolis businesses to offer what they are calling "fair wages."

The good wages initiative put forth by EmployIndy is a program certifying and celebrating Marion County employers who provide full-time employees with at least $18 an hour and access to health insurance benefits.

Jamey Applegate, the Director of the Good Wages Initiative at EmployIndy, said we are in a time when employers are saying they can't find anyone to work within a competitive market.

"We know there is a very tight labor market and we know that there is a lot of turnover," Applegate said. "There is (also) the great resignation."

EmployIndy said it is their job to help employers and employees work together.

"You really have to make sure that you are meeting workers where they are to get what you need so that you have that ecosystem," Applegate said. "The wage that we have as the minimum wage, which is $7.25, is not sufficient for most people to meet their basic needs."

Jason Weddel, the CEO of Hamilton has jumped on board the program.

"It was almost a no-brainer," Weddel said. "At the end of the conversation, the question was 'why wouldn't we do this?' as opposed to 'are we willing to?"

Hamilton is a full-service event marketing agency that creates immersive brand experiences. They're offering $18 an hour and full benefits to employees.

It's something Weddel said needed to be done post-pandemic.

"As an employer how do we think about the employee-employer relationship and how we can be beneficial in both ways," Weddel said.

"I really think that Indianapolis has an opportunity to be a leader across the country in terms of making sure that its workers are able to meet their needs and be attractive to talent," Applegate said.

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