• Chamber Unveils St. Louis Regional Education Dashboard at 'Stand With Students' Event

    Jun 02, 2017

    On April 28th, the St. Louis Regional Chamber partnered with St. Louis Graduates to host “Stand with Students: Leveraging Leadership to Support Postsecondary Success.”

    Stand with Students_graphThe event, hosted at Webster University, attracted more than 200 regional and statewide leaders in business, education, and nonprofits.

    The event featured a lineup of dynamic speakers including Alan Byrd, Dean of Enrollment Services at UMSL; Beth Stroble, President of Webster University; Zora Mulligan, Commissioner of Higher Education at the Missouri Department of Higher Education; Allison Williams, Senior Vice President of Programs at the Wyman Center; and Joe Reagan, President & CEO of the St. Louis Regional Chamber.

    Zora Mulligan recognized five Missouri universities for their exceptional efforts and leadership in improving graduation rates among first-generation, low-income students. The five institutions, Webster University, Maryville University, University of Central Missouri, Missouri State University, and Southeast Missouri State University, share their best practices to help more students graduate with less debt in a report released by the Illinois Education Research Council.

     Joe Reagan announced another highlight of the event – the launch of the St. Louis Regional Education Dashboard. The Dashboard is an interactive tool that allows users to disaggregate regional education information by race, gender, age, and geographical region. This tool will be an invaluable resource for educators, community leaders, and business leaders to understand our region’s challenges and seize opportunities to improve degree attainment. Reagan also summarized the principles within the St. Louis Regional Education Commitment, which now has the support of more than 100 individuals and organizations including East-West Gateway Council of Governments, St. Louis Graduates, Full Circle, the Higher Education Council, Business Leaders for Education, and the Chamber’s Board of Directors.

    Read more about the event in the St. Louis Post- Dispatch’s article here

  • What You Need to Know About St. Louis City’s $10 Minimum Wage

    May 08, 2017

    Almost two years after the passage of an ordinance by the City of St. Louis, a new minimum wage of $10 an hour is now in effect as of May 5th after the St. Louis Circuit Court lifted its injunction.

    The City of St. Louis passed a minimum wage increase in 2015; however, the ordinance was stopped from going into effect by a circuit court injunction. Business groups took legal action due to concern for regulatory confusion created by enacting a higher rate than the state, which is set at $7.70. The St. Louis Circuit Court agreed with the business groups, but the Missouri Supreme Court rejected the argument and ruled in favor of the City on February 28th. On April 25th, the Supreme Court declined to reconsider the order, effectively ending the matter. The new wage is now effect and will rise again to $11 beginning on January 1, 2018.

    The new minimum wage will not apply to businesses that gross under $500,000 per year or employ fewer than 15 workers. It will also not apply to employees who work less than 20 hours per calendar year. This City is expecting “voluntary compliance from employers,” although there is a complaint process employees may utilize if they are not receiving the new wage.

    While the St. Louis Regional Chamber is in favor of discussing a statewide or national minimum wage increase, our position on a City-only increase remains unchanged. We are concerned the new law could negatively impact workers, further fragment local government, and weaken the City of St. Louis. The wage increase is effectively a fee on employers in the City that will spawn unintended consequences on workers through job eliminations and increased retail prices.

    If you need information regarding exemptions, notice requirements, complaints, and other details, visit https://www.stlouis-mo.gov/minimum-wage/. The City’s website has a list of frequently asked questions.

    If you have any additional questions about how the new minimum wage will affect your business, you can send an email to minimumwage@stlouis-mo.gov, call the Citizen’s Service Bureau at (314) 589-6735, or send a tweet to @stlcsb.