Taos Starting Pay Now Exceeds Living Wage For Taos County, Resort Adds Housing For Staff

As the only B Corp certified ski resort in the world, Taos Ski Valley is compelled to conduct business in a manner that benefits employees, visitors, and the community through social responsibility, environmental sensitivity, and economic sustainability. As part of that commitment, Taos has raised its starting pay for entry-level positions to $15 per hour, exceeding the living wage of $14.94 for Taos County, as stated by the MIT Living Wage Calculator. Taos is one of the few US ski resorts to offer starting pay that focuses on a living wage rather than a minimum wage. This hourly rate is also more than 40 percent above the state of New Mexico's minimum wage. Taos Ski Valley's living wage increase is coupled with 70 new and existing units of staff housing, designed to provide a living wage and affordable lifestyle for Taos Ski Valley staff. This comprehensive approach to staff compensation and benefits is part of Taos Ski Valley's financial wellness initiative for staff.

"We made a commitment to pay our staff a living wage several years ago and have continually updated our pay scale accordingly and do an annual pay equity analysis," said Dawn Boulware, Vice President of Social and Environmental Responsibility at Taos Ski Valley. "In addition to wage increases, we're investing in diversity, equity and inclusion training and expanding programs like insurance and housing. All of this makes Taos Ski Valley one of the most caring – and enjoyable - places to work in the entire outdoor recreation industry."

With more than 35 percent of its workforce self-identifying as people of color, and almost 40 percent of its workforce identifying as female, Taos is one of the most diverse businesses in the industry. Additionally, Taos is the only ski resort to partner with Camber Outdoors, a national organization dedicated to supporting workplace inclusion, equity, and diversity in the active outdoors industry.

"We still have work to do," continued Boulware. "But we know step one is ensuring our staff have a living wage, a place to live, and a socially responsible and inclusive working environment."

Taos offers affordable staff housing in several locations, with 70 rooms and 100 beds currently available, with plans to add 40 more rooms for the upcoming season.

Additionally, for the 2021/2022 winter season, Taos, in conjunction with Spot Insurance, will offer full-time year-round and full-time seasonal staff 24/7 accident insurance with up to $25,000 of coverage per accident. From stitches to surgery and X-rays to physical therapy, these bills will be covered if staff is injured in a covered accident, even if they have existing health coverage. 

Taos also offers an ever-evolving staff wellbeing program, which includes an employee assistance program with up to 6 free counselling sessions, 401(k) plan with environmentally and socially responsible investing options, paid health days, free yoga classes, mental health first aid training, gym discounts and much more, including free season passes to enjoy the mountain.

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