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County fails to plan for minimum wage increase in Summer Youth Employment Program

When the Gadsden County Commission approved a summer youth employment program this year, it failed to factor in the increase in Florida’s minimum wage, resulting in fewer students being able to participate.

The program will serve 120 teens between 14 and 17 years old. Had the county factored in the increase, 125 teens could have found jobs. Gadsden County Commissioner Eric Hinson was disappointed the increase was not factored in.

He presented a motion at the May 15 commission meeting to fund the additional five slots, but the motion failed. Hinson said he plans to try to find additional funding for more spots at the next county commission meeting, June 5, even if it’s too late to fund approval for the additional five students for the full six-week program.

Students participating must live in Gadsden County; be between 14 and 17 when the program starts; and have good school attendance and conduct records. They will be paid minimum wage for 20 hours a week during the six-week program.

Randall Lieberman