A $1.8 million grant will help the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Virginia pay its employees at least $15 per hour.
The organization’s Living Wage Initiative is part of its efforts to promote diversity, equity and inclusion. The grant from Dorothy Batten through the D.N. Batten Foundation made the pay bump possible.
The organization’s six clubs serve Charlottesville, Albemarle, Madison, Orange, Buckingham, and Fluvanna. The initiative will increase wages for at least 60 employees, effective July 1. Additional funding will be needed to cover the $2.5 million five-year cost of the increase.
The decision to boost wages was informed by Network2Work’s Orange Dot Report 4.0, which concluded that increasing wages is the quickest way to help individuals escape the poverty cycle, according to the release.
“Ms. Batten’s generosity and leadership demonstrates what it means to bring about lasting, positive change,” said James Pierce, CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Virginia. “It’s especially important to acknowledge the impact this will have on our members. Young people can’t be what they can’t see. This initiative tells Club staff that they’re valued and supported and sends a strong message to Club youth.”