By Amy Wadas

COLLIER TOWNSHIP, Pa. (KDKA) – Right down the road from the Carpenters Pittsburgh Training Center in Collier where President Joe Biden spoke, dozens of people who work essential jobs across Pennsylvania and beyond gathered, sending a message to the president that they need help too.

They lined Ridge Road holding up signs as President Biden’s motorcade drove past. One of the signs that really stood out said: “Immigrants are essential.” This group is from immigrant rights organization CASA.

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Also rallying were home health care workers and people who support green jobs. They chose to rally near where the president was speaking to declare that a just recovery must include investing in the essential workforce like care jobs, citizenship for immigrant workers and green infrastructure to provide good jobs for communities hit hardest by the climate crisis.

“We aren’t seen in public, people don’t even know we exist. We are out here to bring visibility and a voice and consumers who rely on our job every day,” said home care worker Erica Payne.

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One of the people KDKA spoke to said a green economy is crucial for the future of our nation.

“We can’t keep extracting fossil fuels. Fossil carbon will be the doom of us all. We need to be moving toward renewable energy rapidly,” said Maren Cooke with Ohio Valley Environmental Resistance.

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CASA Community Organizer Jorge Benitez Perez said, “We are here today to demand in President Biden’s next bill or legislation to include essential worker immigrants. Immigrants on the front lines haven’t stopped working during the pandemic but have yet to receive any type of relief.”