The following information is from the completed 2020 event. Please check back in January for details about the 2021 conference, which will be on May 10, 12, and 14. We anticipate opening registration in early February 2021.

Our staff continues to work remotely. Please visit the Contact Us page or email to get in touch.  

Maine HR Convention: May 10, 12, & 14, 2021 – Virtual+ Edition


Workshop C: What Does “Living Wage” Actually Mean to Your Business?

Thursday, May 14th, 2020 @ 10:15 am - 11:45 am

The Good Shepherd Food Bank Story

What’s it all about? Despite paying “market wages,” Good Shepherd Food Bank management was surprised to learn that several of its own staff members were relying on food pantries for support. Knowing that employees are the most valuable asset to any business, paying sub-living wages, even when markets are saying they’re fair, is not a sustainable business strategy. Kristen Miale and Bryan O’Connor from GSFB, share how being a poverty-aware employer goes beyond paying a living wage. There are cultural implications, manager training, and other programs that need to be created or strengthened in order to support workers living at or near poverty. Learn how the non-profit food bank was able to develop a financial plan to increase wages and advocate for the board’s support in this initiative. During this session, Kristen and Bryan will also share the experiences of other organizations such as Auburn Manufacturing in their mission to pay a livable wage to their employee base.

Why you’ll want to participate in this session.

  • Gain a clear understanding of public policy and what is meant by “the poverty line” – and develop an awareness of what constitutes a “living wage” in the U.S., and how that connects to your company’s ethics and values.
  • Learn how to develop a business plan and budget for moving to a living wage and communicate with your board about how this change supports the long-term success of the organization.
  • Examine workplace policies and programs through a poverty-aware lens beyond wage levels.
  • Become empowered to lead a poverty-aware culture so that every employee – from managers to colleagues – understands the impact that poverty may be having in your organization.

Approved for SHRM Credit and HRCI BUSINESS Credit.