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Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. recently announced it is raising its minimum full-time wage to $17 an hour, effective Oct. 1. The higher wage will be paid to workers who put in at least 32 hours a week in all 932 stores it operates, including those in Orange City and Daytona Beach, according to a spokeswoman.

Part-time workers, however, will be paid $11 an hour, the spokeswoman acknowledged. She did not say how many of the stores’ workers were full- or part-time.

However, Robin King, president and CEO of Career Source Flagler Volusia, the area’s workforce development agency, said most retailers have a staff that is 20-percent full-time and 80-percent part-time.

King was a little surprised Hobby Lobby is implementing the wage hike chainwide.

“We don’t usually see national retailers set wages nationally; they’re usually set locally,” King said. “It would be a good wage for us [in Volusia County], but I don’t know if it would be a good wage everywhere.”

King also wasn’t sure if Hobby Lobby’s wage hike would be copied by other retailers.

“If the demand is there, we have seen other retailers increasing their pay scales,” she said.

Hobby Lobby is primarily an arts-and-crafts store but also includes hobbies, picture framing, jewelry-making, fabrics, floral and wedding supplies, cards and party ware, baskets, wearable art, home décor and holiday merchandise.

In a press release, Hobby Lobby said in 2009 it was one of the first retailers to establish a nationwide minimum hourly wage well above the federal minimum wage. In 2014, Hobby Lobby raised its full-time minimum hourly wage to $15.

“We have always worked hard to be a retail leader when it comes to taking care of our people,” Hobby Lobby founder and CEO David Green said in the press release. “From closing our stores on Sundays and at 8 p.m. the rest of the week, to providing some of the best pay and benefits in the retail industry, we are thankful that we are able to share our success with our valued employees and provide time for rest, family and worship. These investments allow Hobby Lobby to attract and retain a great group of associates who in turn help provide the wonderfully unique shopping experience enjoyed by our many loyal customers.”

In addition to providing industry-leading pay, Hobby Lobby’s benefits to eligible employees include an outstanding medical, prescription and dental plan; 401(k) with generous company match; flexible spending plan; long-term disability benefits; life insurance; vacation pay; personal paid time-off benefits with annual buyback; holiday pay; chaplain services; and an employee discount.

“Because this year has presented so many challenges to our employees, we are very happy that we are able to provide pay increases to thousands of our associates before the Christmas season,” Green said in the press release.

Hobby Lobby was founded in 1972 and is headquartered in Oklahoma City. The chain operates one store at 2635 Enterprise Road in Orange City, and another at 1109 Cornerstone Blvd. in Daytona Beach.


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