ALTOONA, Pa. (AP) – The Pennsylvania-based Sheetz convenience store chain says it will spend $15 million this year to raise its workers’ pay across the company.

Sheetz says in a news release that it won’t cut back hours for full-time employees as part of the move.

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The starting hourly wage for sales associates will rise to $10 this month, with shift supervisors making $13 and assistant managers $16.

The family-owned chain was established in 1952 in Altoona.

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The chain has grown to more than 500 stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia, with more than 17,000 employees.

Stephanie Doliveira, vice president of human resources, say the company believes that “paying wages at the upper end of the retail scale” is necessary to attract and retain the best employees.

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