CEOs were asked: One element exacerbating the affordability crisis is Miami’s low wages. What efforts can be taken to boost them locally?
CEOs were asked: One element exacerbating the [affordability] crisis is Miami’s low wages. What efforts can be taken to boost them locally?
Florida’s minimum wage automatically increases every year based on the cost of living, but it is still less than $9 per hour. There are only a handful of cities more expensive than Miami to live in, yet we have one of the largest populations of workers in the service industry. We have to look at increasing the minimum wage, both for the betterment of our workforce as well as boosting our economy.
Tony Argiz, chairman, CEO, Morrison, Brown, Argiz & Farra, LLC (MBAF)
Raising minimum wages is a logical step, but there are no easy answers.
Jennifer Cramer, CEO, co-founder, The Spice Lab
Miami is once again on the move. We are seeing a healthy infusion of young entrepreneurs that are building new businesses. Groups like the Knight Foundation have been instrumental to catalyze this new insurgence. The scaling of these new business is what will drive wages. We need to all do our part to keep this ecosystem vibrant.
Maurice R. Ferré, CEO, chairman, INSIGHTEC
Jobs and affordable housing work hand-in-hand. While we need to do more to attract corporations that offer higher wages, I believe we can also make education more affordable which will boost earning potential, reduce student debt and increase Miami’s standard of living.
Adriana Jaegerman, senior principal, managing leader, Stantec
Wages in an open economy like ours society are a reflection of supply and demand. One obvious way to boost low wages is by attracting wealthy mega-companies like Amazon, which create thousands of jobs paying substantially above local wages, but those opportunities are few and far between. A better way to raise wages is by attracting industries which rely on workers with higher skills and, accordingly, pay more; we have the skilled workforce, we just don’t have the jobs. Offering tax incentives to such companies, encouraging public/private joint ventures, and similar creative solutions like those espoused by the Beacon Council can change that.
José E. Latour, founding partner, LatourLaw
Effective programs that develop small and particularly minority businesses is a very important strategy to improve the crisis of low wages. Both the private and public sectors need to identify strategies to accelerate the growth of small businesses that are past the first stage of development to grow exponentially to become mid-size to large companies with high paying jobs. Our economy is fueled by small businesses and if they are more successful, the companies can pay livable wages, provide health insurance for employees, pay additional taxes, support charitable causes etc., to make this a better community for all and deal with the issue of low wages and inequality.
Beatrice Louissaint, president, CEO, Florida State Minority Supplier Development Council
Local government should do more to support agile educational institutions that are developing middle skills and other advanced 21st century skills. Our 20-something students studying technology skills are starting their careers with incomes above the median salary in Miami and will likely double their wages over their first decade of professional. However, there’s a financing gap for these non-traditional programs that makes them prohibitive for the person who is affected by those low wages in the first place.
Ariel Quiñones, co-founder, Ironhack
Sunshine and zero personal income tax has always replaced a portion of wages in the Sunshine State, especially in South Florida. Jobs here pay less than their counterparts in the Northeast and Midwest in exchange for not having to endure the rigors of northern winters. The more pressing problem of the day is the out-of-control cost of living in Miami, especially housing. Many area employees live in multi-generational homes, and not necessarily by choice. We need to find ways to provide more affordable housing for lower- and mid-level workers so that we don’t lose these important resources
Kelly Ramsden, managing partner, Office Edge and Legal Edge
A good first step would be to address the Florida Statute that prevents municipalities from enacting ordinances establishing a local minimum wage. In 2016, Miami Beach enacted an ordinance to establish a local minimum wage of $10.31 per hour, which is significantly higher than the state minimum wage, currently $8.46 per hour. Because the Florida Statute expressly preempts such ordinances, Miami Beach’s minimum wage was stricken down in a lawsuit
Chana Sheldon, executive director, MOCA
THE MIAMI HERALD CEO ROUNDTABLE IS A WEEKLY FEATURE THAT APPEARS IN BUSINESS MONDAY OF THE MIAMI HERALD. Meet the current members of the roundtable.
RECENT QUESTIONS TO THE ROUNDTABLE HAVE INCLUDED:
▪ Local and state governments must do more to address affordable housing
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▪ Here’s how CEOs would advise a high school senior class on its last day
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▪ CEOs split on encouraging marijuana sales in Florida
▪ Unlocking state funds for affordable housing is the right move, CEOS said
▪ CEOs try to lasso healthcare costs, but more needs to be done
▪ CEOs agree that tax breaks are needed to lure businesses to Florida
▪ Technology led to significant changes in 2018 for most CEOs
▪ What are CEOs doing to attract and retain workers?
▪ Most CEOs say salaries will increase in 2019
▪ Most CEOs are in ‘growth mode’ with plans to hire more
▪ CEOs’ 2019 economic forecast offers differing views
▪ How CEOs are trying to attract ‘Generation Z’
▪ Most CEOs say PortMiami should expand more, without hurting the fragile eco-system
▪ Should financial institutions reach more ‘unbanked’ people?
▪ Tech scene throughout South Florida is building momentum
▪ CEOs discuss their top workforce challenges for 2019
▪ The best gift? Even for the most successful people, life is about more than business
▪ Recession ahead? CEOs divided on whether they see signs of one
▪ CEOs: Amazon’s strong look at Miami for HQ2 made the region look hard at itself
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▪ Jobs available? CEOs look at their companies
▪ CEOs keep an eye on Miami’s cost of living
▪ The key to retaining employees? Start with good pay and benefits
▪ Live-work-play? More employees opt to live closer to workplaces
▪ Some CEOs say they’ve raised wages this year
▪ Here are some issues CEOs hope lawmakers keep top-of-mind this election year
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▪ CEOs feel pressure to keep wages competitive
▪ South Florida CEOs say that Miami can sustain David Beckham’s soccer team
▪ CEOs hope common-sense control on assault rifles happens soon
▪ Will Amazon open HQ2 in Miami? Maybe, maybe not, but city’s profile rises, CEOs say
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▪ How CEOs address hostility in the workplace
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▪ CEOs say students who improve certain skills are better prepared for future jobs
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