Celebrating our Community's
Level Up Champions
What is a Level Up Champion?
A Level Up Champion is an employer that has taken the first step toward wage equity by instituting a $15 or higher starting wage within their organization. This commitment demonstrates their investment in their employees and is one way they are doing their part to address poverty in the Greater Rochester Area.
About the Initiative
Founded by the Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative (RMAPI), the Level Up Champion recognition program is both a celebration of progress and an urgent call to action.
Our recognition badge celebrates organizations who have made the decision to increase their starting wage, showing that doing the right thing is part of their company’s DNA.
When a company displays the Level Up Champion insignia within the workplace or online, it signifies to current employees, potential employees and the general public that they believe that increasing wages are essential to fighting poverty and their organization is committed to being a part of the wider movement to lift our entire community.
The Level Up Champions badge also gives consumers a quick and easy way to identify businesses that align with their values.
By very publicly recognizing which organizations have taken this step, we’re also hoping to inspire other employers to commit to a $15 starting wage, knowing their efforts will be recognized and they will have the full support of the RMAPI collective.
Progress Through Process
Poverty is the greatest crisis that Rochester has ever faced.
The majority of adults in the labor force are employed and yet more than two-thirds who have jobs are still living in poverty. Additionally, single-income households – the vast majority headed by single women – make up 2/3 of poor households, and are where we find 80% of children living in poverty.
Wage enhancements need to be part of the solution.
There are no examples of successful community efforts to address poverty that do not include increasing wages. Which is why...
Our mission is to create widespread, culture-shifting improvements that reduce poverty in Rochester long-term. Encouraging area employers to move to $15/hour is only one step, in a big, collective effort to achieve three high-level outcomes:
Increased income, through better jobs and access to critical supports
Increased accessibility and affordability of basic needs, through more affordable housing, better coordination of services and more effective utilization of benefits
Decreased concentration of poverty, through strengthened communities, home to self-sufficient families
These outcomes are being pursued aggressively, and simultaneously, in dozens of ways, by RMAPI and our partners. Through the nationally respected collective impact framework, we are collaborating in ways never experienced here before, to connect programs and services with the people who need them, and creating an integrated system that achieves meaningful progress at the individual, family, and community levels.
Level Up Champions are making significant contributions and their ongoing partnership is essential to sustained positive change.