The Alexandria Living Wage Certification Program is a joint initiative of the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy and Virginia Theological Seminary, with the input and assistance of other local groups.

The program, which was launched on July 16, 2018, recognizes that the current Virginia minimum wage ($7.25) is woefully inadequate for employees working in the city of Alexandria. Paying a living wage, which enables local employees to put food on the table and a roof over their heads, is a moral imperative.


Alexandria’s voluntary certification program is designed to:

  • Recognize employers already paying a living wage and encourage others to follow their example, thus increasing employees’ ability to live locally and maintain a basic quality of life
  • Build customer loyalty by advertising employers’ wage practices, helping to drive sales and generate revenue
  • Lower cost of doing business by attracting top-tier talent and increasing employee retention.


Living Wage in Alexandria:

There are many ways to calculate a living wage. Alexandria’s standards, which will change over time, are based on the MIT Living Wage Calculator and Alexandria’s standards for contract employees. It is a three-tier system:

Gold Star $15.70 per hour

Silver Star $14.13 per hour

Aspiring $11.23 per hour

Certification process:

Detailed qualifications are outlined in the application which is submitted to a certification committee after completion.


More information:


Media stories:

Washington Post

Alexandria Times

The Zebra 

Alexandria News

The Gazette