Last month, a report from the Quad State Technology and Manufacturing Consortium said that wages lower than the national average have given this region's Interstate 81 corridor an advantage in attracting new jobs.
Well, if that was the silver lining, here's the cloud: Families in the Hagerstown area surveyed recently say those low-wage jobs make it difficult for families to get by. The upshot, as we see it, is that taxpayers may have to spend more for services that low-wage workers need, but can't afford on their own.
The survey was done by the Washington County Local Management Board, a group charged with planning the most effective use of state aid. The board surveyed 174 local adults by phone and through focus groups, to find out what their needs were.
What they found was working parents here need about $25,000 to support two children, or a job (or combination of jobs) that pays $12 an hour.