Prior to submitting the emergency grant application, the state’s WDBs had secured preliminary commitments from 28 employers to participate in the proposed project. The employers would provide temporary disaster-relief jobs to dislocated workers, workers who were laid-off as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, self-employed workers who are unemployed or underemployed as a result of the crisis, and long-term unemployed individuals.
The disaster-relief jobs identified by employers fall into three broad categories: 1) jobs involving cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting public facilities (e.g., hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, other health care environments, child care centers, community centers); 2) jobs involving the delivery of medicine, food, or other supplies to quarantined individuals and vulnerable populations; and 3) health care support jobs caring for sick and vulnerable individuals.
Our work continues: The 28 employers estimate that they will have a need for approximately 500 workers in entry-level and middle-skill disaster-relief and humanitarian assistance jobs, exceeding the 350 individuals that the proposed DWG project will have the capacity to serve. With additional time to conduct outreach directly to potential employer partners (the WDBs reached out to several hundred employer partners, many of which expressed interest but said they needed more time to identify and quantify their specific needs) and through the support of their philanthropic partners (the three largest community foundations in Connecticut have offered to solicit nonprofits in their communities for emergency relief worker needs), the WDBs expect to generate significantly greater employer interest and need for financial resources than what has been identified in the emergency application.