April 2017 Newsletter

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April 2017 Newsletter
Jumpstart your Earth Day Saturday with a power trio of strong coffee, scratch biscuits, and home-grown, nonprofit banking. Join Orange County Living Wage in BUYcotting three living wage employers: Rise Biscuits, Gray Squirrel Coffee, and Coastal Federal Credit Union. Bring your wallet - and your appetite - and our living wage employers will do the rest. 300 E. Main Street, Carrboro, Saturday April 22 from 9 to 11.

Morinaga America Foods:
Living Wage Employer
of the Month

How does a candy company grow from an 1899 pushcart into Asia's largest confectioner, Japan's #1 soft candy, and one of Orange County's largest living wage employers?

One bite at a time!

Morinaga America Foods (a subsidiary of Morinaga & Co., Ltd) makes the popular Hi-Chew candy. The brand has built strong sales throughout Asia and is now seeing great success in the United States. You can find Hi-Chews in convenience and grocery stores, and in drug stores such as Walgreens.

Hi-Chews are made just down the road in Mebane. Morinaga America Foods is the only production plant outside Asia among Morinaga Foods. Production began in summer 2015, and the plant currently employs nearly 100 workers. Morinaga America Foods was certified as a living wage employer in September of 2016.

With a big fruity taste and a gum-like chew, Hi-Chews are a huge hit with kids. "They're really chewy and they last a long time," said Jin, a sixth-grader and devoted Hi-Chewer whose favorite flavors are strawberry, green apple, grape and cherry. "The taste is extravagant!"

Orange County Living Wage thanks Morinaga America Foods for choosing Orange County as their factory home - and especially for paying their employees a living wage.

Jennifer Curtis
Benefit Concert

Thanks to everyone who came out on a snowy March Sunday for Orange County Living Wage's first benefit concert. Special thanks to Jennifer Curtis for her beautiful violin performance and for her interesting anecdotes about her violin and the pieces she performed. OCLW is grateful for the generous support of all sponsors, attendees, and volunteers. We raised more than $3000 to certify and promote living wage employers. Learn more about Jennifer's music at jennifercurtisviolin.com.

Going Beyond the Minimum:
Glasshalfull's Gazpacho

The News and Observer recently featured Glasshalfull's gazpacho, which goes beyond the tomato with ... strawberries! See the story here. Carrboro's own Glasshalfull restaurant, with a wine shop and wine bar, has been a certified living wage employer since May of 2016. For their menu, hours, and location, see their website at glasshalfull.net.


Living Wage Roster:
Strong and Growing

We are delighted to welcome our newest certified living wage employers: Business Insurers of the Carolinas, the Centre for Homeownership and Economic Development, Carrboro Family Vision, and Skelton's Landscaping Service. Please find them on our website and in our community.

Our complete list of 117 living wage employers is here. Support local businesses who are making living wages work. Bring them your business soon!


Wage Data on the Web

From January 2017, the Pew Research Center's 5 Facts About the Minimum Wage presents more than five important facts about wages, including: Since it was last raised in 2009, to the current $7.25 per hour, the federal minimum has lost about 9.6% of its purchasing power to inflation.

From the National Conference of State Legislatures' State Minimum Wage Data / 2017 Minimum Wage by State, the state of Georgia's minimum wage is $5.15 (but they must legally pay the federal wage of $7.25); the territory of Guam's minimum wage is $8.25.

And from the Economic Policy Institute, we learn that in the 17 states (plus D.C.) that increased their minimum wage in 2016, wage growth at the 10th percentile was 5.2%.



When you support Orange County Living Wage, you’re saying “yes” to a just economy and enhanced quality of life.  Your monetary assistance will be used for technical support, administrative assistance, informational brochures, framed certificates, car magnets, store window decals, BUYcotts, and more -- all of which are used to promote and sustain living wage employers and employment.

Click here to make a donation that will raise awareness about our voluntary certification program.

Thank you for all of your support in this voluntary effort to promote a living wage in Orange County.
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Orange County Living Wage Steering Committee
Mike Andrews, Susan Attermeier, John Barrow, Kimberly Brewer, Victoria Freeman, Steve Jenks, Chris Lathrop, Mark Marcoplos, and Susan Romaine
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