In this March 9, 2016, file photo, students walk near the chapel on the Bowdoin College campus in Brunswick. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

Bowdoin College in Brunswick is accelerating its planned minimum wage increase as it struggles to fill vacant posts.

Starting Monday, the college’s minimum wage will increase from $15.50 to $17. That’s 10 months ahead of the wage hike schedule President Clayton Rose outlined in October 2019.

The wage rose to $14 an hour on July 1, 2020, and then again to $15.50 on July 1 of this year. The jump to $17 was planned to take effect July 1, 2022.

“This accelerated timetable for increasing Bowdoin’s minimum hiring rate to $17 reflects rapidly changing labor conditions in Maine and Bowdoin’s commitment to remaining a leader in wages and benefits in Maine,” said Matt Orlando, Bowdoin’s senior vice president for finance and administration and treasurer.

Bowdoin, like Maine’s restaurant and hospitality industries, has struggled to lure workers this year amid a labor shortage affecting the state and the nation.

Orlando called the wage hike an “investment” in Bowdoin’s support staff and a recognition of the “essential work” they do every day.

He said the college hopes the wage hike, paired with a generous benefits package, will entice people to apply for vacant posts.