Gig workers in need of employment find new job at Colorado mass vaccination clinics

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COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — When you drive up to state’s mass vaccination site in Commerce City, you’ll see workers wearing masks as they direct you through the line. Behind the mask is a story of loss. Many of them like Ali McGee were once gig workers.

“We have the lighting guy from one of my favorite bands that works for me,” said McGee, a regional manager at the site in Commerce City.

When the pandemic started, the music stopped.

“Before I knew it my life and my career, everything identified with, everything I work for the last seven years, literally just disappeared in front of my eyes,” McGee said of her career.

Like many, McGee and others here had to adapt to survive.

“We all came from this community and we shifted to right here,” McGee said of many of the employees at the vaccination site.

John Pendegrast comes from that community. Until this opportunity came around, the former gig worker was unemployed for most of the pandemic.

“We’re fortunate enough where we have brought on a lot of music industry people that otherwise would have nothing,” Pendegrast told Denver7.

While it’s not the industry they love, there are similarities between their old job and their new one.

“There’s not much of a difference there. It’s just a bunch of people waiting in line to get through and instead of music they’re getting a shot in the arm,” Pendegrast said.

With each shot, comes one more step to the job that was taken from them more than a year ago.

“I feel like the more people we get through now, the faster we do this job, the faster I can get back to doing what I love the most,” Pendegrast said.