County seeks vendor to encourage more local businesses to pay living wage

Interest rates, rent, the cost of food – they’re all up. Inflation impacts everyone, but residents who don’t currently earn a living wage, which in Wake County is less than $43,971 annually, are struggling to survive financially.

Since 2015, Wake County has chosen to pay its employees a living wage, with the goal of encouraging other government agencies and local businesses to follow our lead. To advance that effort even further, the county is seeking proposals from consulting firms interested in helping us develop a robust strategy to incentivize local employers to pay a living wage.

“Trying to make ends meet on less than $21/hour is nearly impossible without working multiple jobs or dipping into debt,” said Cheryl Stallings of the Wake County Board of Commissioners. “We need employers in Wake County to join us in paying a living wage, so we can lift up local families and raise the standard for what it means to work in our community.”

Firms must demonstrate in their proposals how they would:

  • Develop a certification process for businesses opting to pay a living wage;
  • Engage with companies to motivate them to participate in the program; and
  • Create a job board featuring open positions that pay a living wage.

Interested firms must submit their proposals by Jan. 9, 2024. The county will select the most qualified vendor with the best proposal in February 2024.

The county’s Division of Race Equity is leading this effort. It supports economic mobility, which is one of four pillars of the Blueprint to Dismantle Systemic Racism. For more information about this request for proposals, contact Division of Race Equity Program Manager Christal Carmichael at

Press Release