Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

A Living Wage Helps End the Cycle of Poverty

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

A Living Wage Helps End the Cycle of Poverty

Article excerpt

Recently, I met a business owner who asked me why I support a $15 minimum wage. So I told him:

Fifteen years ago, I came to Braddock to help kids earn their GEDs. I told my students that if they studied and worked hard, they'd be able to escape the cycle of poverty and make it in America.

The problem is, the $7.25 minimum wage in Pennsylvania just isn't enough to stay above water. They can work 40-plus hours a week, yet still need a substantial amount of financial assistance just to get by.

It crushes me to see the same kids I used to work with become adults with grown-up responsibilities, yet still get paid the same wages they had in high school.

One of the great exceptions is Jovan. Jovan was in the same GED program as the other kids. The difference is, Jovan got a job at Costco. He didn't hit it big, he just landed at a company that takes care of its employees and pays them a decent wage. …

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