August 19, 2021

Harrisonburg City Public Schools become the 50th Living Wage Certified Employer in the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Living Wage Certification Program

Harrisonburg City Public Schools were certified at the Silver level and received their certificate and window cling from Steering Committee Member, Ramona Sanders.

The Harrisonburg-Rockingham Living Wage Certification Program is one of four programs in Virginia affiliated with the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy. The programs recognize and honor employers that pay living wages and encourage all employers to seek to pay living wages.

“Paying living wages is good for workers, businesses, and the overall community,” says organizer Ramona Sanders. “Working full-time cannot lift you out of poverty if you are paid poverty wages.”

Even though Virginia’s minimum wage increased on May 1, 2021 to $9.50 an hour and is scheduled to increase again on January 1, 2022 to $11 an hour, the rate is still not enough for families to make ends meet. The current Harrisonburg-Rockingham Living Wage Certification levels are $15 for the Gold certification, $12.50 for the Silver certification, and $11 for Aspiring certification. Providing healthcare can be included in the calculation.

Employers enjoy increased public support and recognition when they are certified. Employers that provide living wages experience less turnover and higher employee satisfaction. Given the challenges employers are experiencing in finding workers during the pandemic, providing living wages and getting certified may help businesses recruit and keep workers and attract support from the community.

To learn more about how to get certified in Harrisonburg-Rockingham, Charlottesville, Richmond, and Alexandria, visit


Virginia Living Wage Certification Program recognizes and honors employers that pay living wages and encourages all employers to seek to pay living wages. 

The Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy advocates economic, racial, and social justice in Virginia’s policies and practices through education, prayer, and action. VICPP is a non-partisan coalition of 750 faith communities working for a more just society.



Ramona Sanders, Steering Committee Member, Harrisonburg-Rockingham Living Wage Certification Program, 540-433-1165

Chris Hoover-Seidel, Steering Committee Member, Harrisonburg-Rockingham Living Wage Certification Program                            , 540-478-2356

Jase Hatcher, Economic Justice Program Manager, VICPP, 804-643-2474 ext. 110