Hazard Pay Grants will help bolster Erie frontline worker pay

Hazard Pay Grants will help bolster Erie frontline worker pay

HARRISBURG, Aug. 17 -- Thanks to the COVID-19 PA Hazard Pay Grants, Erie businesses will receive $331,800 to boost pay to front-line workers helping the community through the pandemic announced Erie state Reps. Ryan Bizzarro, Pat Harkins and Bob Merski.

The following Erie-based service providers were awarded grants through the program to help boost essential workers’ pay from Aug. 16 through Oct. 24:

  • $183,600 - LifeServices Management Corp., Westlake Woods Assisted Living Community, Southwoods Assisted Living Community, Hawthorne Woods Assisted Living Community, Richland Woods Assisted Living Community, and The Winds at Mattern Orchard Assisted Living Community.
  • $169,440 - The Sarah A. Reed Retirement Center.  

“These grants will help front-line workers earn a living wage as they jeopardize their, and their family’s, health and safety by going to work, keeping shelves stocked, caring for children, keeping health care facilities clean, transporting our neighbors and more,” Bizzarro said. “Specifically, the workers of Erie’s care facilities have faced many challenges caring for our most at-risk population and their hard work and dedication more than deserves this boost in pay.”

“Since the start of the pandemic, assisted living and nursing care workers have shown up day after day – under the most stressful and dangerous circumstances -- to provide continuing care and comfort to some of our most vulnerable residents,” Harkins said. “Offering these workers extra pay for the extra risks they assume is the least we can do. I’m so glad this funding is on the way to help make their lives a bit easier.”

“We are incredibly grateful to the workers in our assisted living and other care facilities,” Merski said. “Nearly all are facing risks they never signed up for, but they continue out of dedication to their patients and the residents they serve. This hazard pay is one way we can let them know that we recognize how hard their work is and that we appreciate them for it.”

The grants, created through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, were established to help employers offer hazard pay to direct, full-time and part-time employees earning less than $20 per hour. Eligible employers include businesses, health care non-profits, public transportation agencies and certified economic development organizations.

Funds may be used for hazard pay to workers earning less than $20 per hour, excluding fringe benefits and overtime. A CEDO applying on behalf of employers may be eligible to cover up to 5 percent of administrative costs.