Kel-Tec was established in 1991 by Swedish immigrant George Kellgren, and this month the company’s 300 employees are celebrating more than just the 30th anniversary. On July 31, in an e-mail to the entire staff, the company announced the enactment of a $15 an hour base-pay minimum that took effect the very next pay period.
“The decision was made,” said George Kellgren, founder, president and CEO of Kel-Tec, “to enact this before the Florida mandate to address issues with rising inflation rates, increased cost of living, as well as increased competitiveness in the marketplace.”
Last year, Florida voters approved a measure that mandates an escalating minimum-wage scale, one that increases annually through 2026. In August that figure is $8.65, but in September, it moves up to $10 per hour.
The memo also explained the change is designed to ensure employees who are making below $15 per hour have a more comfortable, livable wage, while still providing some level of adjustment for those who are already making above that scale.
“While the increase will directly impact our entry-level jobs,” Kellgren continued, “I will be rolling out pay increases for all employees currently making above minimum wage on a linear scale based on their current base-pay rate…A raise of the minimum wage rate is one thing, but a base rate increase is simply the right thing to do and do immediately.”
The company’s 30th anniversary wouldn’t be possible without the dedication and efforts of the staff, according to Kellgren. “This year marks the company’s 30th anniversary,” he said. “We’re a company built on innovation and quality brought to life by the hard work and the many contributions of each of our employees. Thank you all for your hard work and support over the years.”