Orange County Living Wage is a volunteer-driven, nonprofit organization that certifies, recognizes, and promotes Orange County businesses that pay a living wage and assists workers seeking living wage jobs.
Chapel Hill, NC
“We decided to pay a living wage because it aligns with one of our core values – ‘belonging.’ To us, belonging means respecting the worth and dignity of all people in the workplace and beyond. To us, a living wage means equitable access to purposeful and community-oriented work. A living wage benefits our employees, business, and the broader community because it means we are doing our part to shift power to marginalized communities.”
– Executive Director Jacklyn Googins
Ten Mothers Farm
Cedar Grove, NC
“The Ten Mothers Farm crew is an incredible team. Together, we get a lot of work done and grow a lot of food. Making sure that every member of the team makes a living wage shows that everyone is valued and helps them meet the cost of their basic necessities. Farming is hard work and skilled work, and farmers deserve to earn a living wage. Paying a living wage means our farmers have stable, year-round jobs and can stick around longer than one season, which makes our business more resilient. Skilled long-term farmers make for better vegetables and better service for our CSA customers. It’s taken us a number of years to get to this point, but it feels really good to finally be here, and we believe it’s a win-win situation for all of us.”
– Co-Founder Vera Fabian
Roquette at Franklin Motors
Chapel Hill, NC
“I don’t think it’s any secret that cooks work long hours in hot kitchens and beat themselves up every shift to get the food out right and on time – and they deserve proper compensation for that.”
– Chef John Smith, pictured with Chef Sarah Smith
“Part of Hope Renovations’ central mission is to provide underemployed women with the training needed to take on careers that pay a living wage – certainly, our mission covers treating our staff with that same respect. Living wages promote an inclusive and employee-led work environment, and inject money back into our communities and local economies. At Hope Renovations, we are committed to living our values, and one way of doing that is being a certified employer by Orange County Living Wage.”
– Janel Burns, director of operations, and Grace Yannotta, social media/marketing intern
Chapel Hill, NC
“Brandwein’s Bagels takes great pride in being an active member of this community and supporting the people in it. To fully accomplish this fundamental principle of the Company, we have to start with our team members – providing meaningful work, a supportive environment and a living wage.
Our team is the heart and soul of the Company. Every single person plays a valued role in making Brandwein’s go. So, creating a safe, respectful and fulfilling environment is essential. Culture is everything and, when backed by recognition of the value of the work through the financial support of a living wage, we tangibly demonstrate that we are fully behind our team.”
– Founder Alex Brandwein
Annie Burton – State Farm Insurance
“It is wonderful to have a career that pays a living wage. I have such peace of mind knowing that I have stability in my work and paycheck. I am so thankful for being paid a living wage. Working at Annie Burton State Farm has changed not only my life, but also my family’s life, for the better.”
– Jenna Burgess, a sales and customer service representative. Jenna is pictured (right) with Annie.
“When I started to work at Redeye, the fact that they paid a living wage was a major perk. Having the entry-level pay match the county’s living wage standards reduces some of the stress around paying bills and gives me a bit more money to use on fun things like going to shows. Additionally, Redeye recently adjusted the living wage to keep up with inflation.”
– Liza Riitters, shipping and floor Coordinator
Orange County Living Wage certifies and publicizes businesses and organizations who pay their workers a living wage.
Businesses and organizations voluntarily certify as living wage employers because they believe fair compensation is good for their employees and the local economy. We engage our community in living wage advocacy through consumer campaigns such as “buycotts” of local living wage employers, promotion of certified employers’ events, and recognition of certified employers’ achievements. We promote our certified employers through social and print media and at local events. Our employer directory includes a wide variety of for-profit, nonprofit, and municipal employers.