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Heroes Work Here

While survey findings point to the need for greater state action to ensure the rights of essential workers, they also reveal stories of worker agency and expertise through informal practices of notifying coworkers of COVID outbreaks in work settings, enforcing protections, questioning policies of inaction, drawing on faith and spirituality, and the ongoing struggle to achieve wages and benefits commensurate with the essential nature of their work.

Call to Action

Want to help essential workers in your community?

The COVID-19 pandemic shone a light on the struggles essential workers face, but these problems have always been there. Two years into the pandemic, we are now moving into a new phase of the pandemic in which we are learning to live with COVID-19, but essential workers have not been given the basic protections they deserve. 


In 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) gave state and local governments $350 billion dollars to support their recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, with a recommendation to use the funds in support of essential workers. Unfortunately, the reality is that many essential workers did not receive the assistance they were owed for risking their lives to keep our communities safe and healthy. In 2022, the second part of these funds is being allocated by state and local governments. As people try to “go back to normal”, it remains critically important to ensure that essential workers are not left behind. Send a letter to Governor DeWine TODAY asking that the ARPA funds be used in direct support of essential workers.

Essential In Ohio

Essential Ohio's report demonstrates what we've known: essential workers are critical to Ohio’s health and economic recovery.

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