Minimum wage to go up Friday
Minimum wage for workers will increase to $7.25 per hour on Friday.
By BILL ROGERS
Published: July 22, 2009
SEBRING – Workers earning the minimum wage will see slightly more money in their next paycheck due to an increase to $7.25 per hour that takes effect Friday, July 24.
It is four cents an hour more for Florida workers who were making $7.21 as of Jan. 1 of this year.
While the raise applies to employees of all ages, the number of older workers needing additional income continues to go up, in part because of the struggling economy. According to information compiled by Albers Communications Group:
•64 percent of older workers cite financial need as the reason they continue working. They need income to support their families, pay for health care and maintain health insurance.
•The number of low-income, older people at risk for homelessness has increased by 140 percent since January 2008.
•Over the past year alone, unemployment among people 55 and older has increased 115 percent. Among job-seekers 75 and older, unemployment has increased by 100 percent since June 2008.
In Florida, many older workers are turning to Experience Works for assistance. Through the Senior Community Service Employment Program, Experience Works helps low-income older workers enter the workforce, secure more challenging positions, move into career areas or supplement their incomes.
Experience Works, which was known as Green Thumb when it started in 1965, provides training at minimum wage for jobs including certified nursing assistants, security guards and office work. The program helps participants with computer skills, update resumes and job searches.
To be eligible for the program, a person has to be 55 or older. A single person can’t earn more than $13,538 a year and a couple can’t make more than $18,213 annually, according to Betsy O’Neill, employment training assistant with Experience Works in Sebring.
"It provides new training for those who might not be able to do their past job," O’Neill said.
O’Neill has an office at the Heartland Workforce One-Stop Career Center, which is located at 2730 U.S. 27 N.
To be eligible for the Experience Works program a person has to be 55 or older. A single person can’t earn more than $13,538 a year and a couple can’t make more than $18,213 annually, according to Betsy O’Neill, employment training assistant with Experience Works in Sebring.