With a focus on Latino and Black low-wage workers in Lakewood, Lacey Township, Toms River, Brick and Jackson, New Labor is leading this initiative to connect vulnerable communities in Ocean County to 20,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Together with its base of worker leaders and organizers, and its network of local employers and mutual aid partners, the New Jersey Department of Health and the Rutgers Occupational Training and Education Consortium, New Labor is working to make information about the vaccines more accessible. New Labor and its partners are collaborating with local employers to host informational sessions. In addition, New Labor is training community members to educate their coworkers and neighbors about the vaccine, and convening consejos, spaces for residents to hear directly from those who have taken the vaccine. The network of community partners are also providing information about vaccination events and launching a ride share program to help residents reach those events. Through its commitment to collaboration and partnership, this effort by New Labor could create a model for providing equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, particularly along the New Jersey Route 9 corridor in Ocean County.
New Labor and its partners are among the providers that have come together as the Moving New Jersey Forward Learning Collaborative to share accomplishments and lessons learned from this work with each other, with New Jersey Health Initiatives and the state, to benefit every community. Ensuring more equitable access to the COVID-19 vaccine originally connected these thought leaders as the New Jersey Vaccination Learning Network for over a year. In March 2022, the network renamed itself the Moving NJ Forward Learning Collaborative to better represent the partners’ systems-level thinking and commitment to applying the lessons from the past two years to unlock the doors to opportunity that marginalized communities face. Learn more about the collaborative’s expanded focus.
In July 2022, the New Labor project team reflected on more than six months of this collaborative work across Ocean County. Scroll down to check out their latest blog post.
Browse reflections on similar efforts from across New Jersey in the Summer 2022 collection of community stories by the Moving NJ Forward Learning Collaborative.