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Getting By - A Special VPR Series

02/25/08 4:04PM

Did you ever wonder about how the server at your favorite coffee shop makes ends meet? How single parents on minimum wage feed their kids? This week, VPR talks with Vermonters who are getting by on minimum and low wage jobs. We'll hear how they make ends meet, how they feel about what they do and their hopes for the future.


AP Photo/Charles Krupa

Monday, February 25: Donna Olsen

Donna Olsen, of Fairfax, is a "para professional" at a middle school. Her husband is an auto mechanic. They have two children - both now in college. She drives an old car and wishes she could help her kids more with college costs. But she says they're really just "getting by".


Tuesday, February 26: Steve Leonard

Steve Leonard is a 24-year-old bottle sorter at the Beer King in Rutland, and he says he's satisfied - at least for now - with the work and the compensation.



Wednesday, February 27: Amanda Calhoun

Amanda Calhoun is a senior in high school, working part time as a waitress to save money for college. She said it's her first job, that it was hard to find a job with no prior experience. But she also said that tips are critical, that she's been working a lot of morning shifts, where tips are low.



Thursday, February 28: Kevin Gallagher

Kevin Gallagher is 26 years old and delivers pizza in Burlington. He makes most of his money through tips. However, the pizza boxes say "free delivery", so many people assume they don't need to tip. It makes it impossible to predict the amount of money he will earn.






Friday February 29: Harold Jones

Harold "Hoss" Jones is a part time driver for the Green Mountain Express, the bus that runs between Bennington and Manchester. He used to have a higher paying job in manufacturing. Now, like many of the workers he transports, he's just "getting by."



VPR Asks: Getting By in a Minimum or Low Wage Job

We'd like to hear your thoughts and contributions to this special series. Click here to read others' contributions and share your own.


Related Links

Vermont Edition: Getting by in the Green Mountains
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