A food truck driver wheels a cart full of products for delivery to an establishment in Pittsburgh’s Southside on the re-opening day for seated patrons at restaurants, as COVID-19 protective restrictions were lowered in most of southwest Pennsylvania, Friday, June 5, 2020.
(The Center Square) – Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced a $50 million grant program for employers of essential workers who serve on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.
The COVID-19 PA Hazard Pay Grant Program reimburses employers for providing $3 per hour raises to workers making less than $20 an hour between Aug. 16 and Oct. 24. Eligible sectors include health care, social assistance, food manufacturing, food retail, public transportation, security and janitorial services.
“In the fight against COVID-19, our front-line workers have put themselves at risk every day in order to continue to provide life-sustaining services to their fellow Pennsylvanians, and this funding will increase their pay in recognition of those sacrifices,” Wolf said. “These grants will help businesses retain employees, ensure that Pennsylvanians keep working and avoid disruption of critical goods and services.”
Employers may apply for reimbursement for up to 500 full time workers and are limited to grants of $3 million or less. The application period runs between July 16 and July 31.
A number of Democratic lawmakers praised the program after it was announced Thursday
“We all have family, friends and neighbors who are working every day during COVID-19. Many of them are lower wage workers, many of them are woman, and many of them are people of color,” Rep. Jordan Harris said on Twitter. “They deserve hazard pay for their sacrifice.”