2022 “Workers’ Memorial Day” Scholarship Essay Contest for HS Seniors

2022 “Workers’ Memorial Day” Scholarship Essay Contest for HS Seniors

Each year during Worker Memorial Day ceremonies on April 28th, workers, legislators, members of organized labor unions, worker advocates and others gather together to honor the memory of those workers who have lost their lives because of workplace injuries or illnesses.  The ceremonies highlight the sacrifices made by these workers and of the families left behind and inspire us all to work harder on behalf of the welfare of all workers.

This year the Connecticut AFL-CIO Health and Safety Committee, as part of its efforts to “mourn the dead but fight like hell for the living”, is offering a scholarship essay contest to inspire high school seniors to think about the importance of workplace health and safety, of the consequences that arise when workers are forced to toil in unsafe working conditions and of the role that organized labor has played in protecting workers both in the past and present.

In this year’s scholarship essay contest, Connecticut high school seniors are asked to respond in 1,000 words or less to ONE of the three questions below with serious thought, some research, and, most importantly, awareness of the true cost of workplace hazards on the lives of workers. All entries will be judged anonymously.

The essay and application must be received by April 1, 2022.

  • Connecticut has seen an increase in the number of “big box” employers.  Would these workplaces be safer if they were unionized?  Would you or people you know prefer to work at a unionized “big box” workplace?  Why or why not?  Please research safety statistics to make your case.
  • Do you believe that employers should mandate COVID-19 vaccines as a condition of employment? Why or why not?
  • Connecticut expects to see an increase in infrastructure projects over the next year.  Would work-related accidents be prevented if these jobs were given to unionized workers?  Utilize safety statistics to present your case.


1st Prize is $1,500

2nd Prize is $1,000

3rd Prize is $500

This essay contest is open to all Connecticut high school seniors.  Please email the completed essay and application below to pamela@ctcosh.org or send it to


683 North Mountain Road

Newington, CT  06111

ATTN:  Pamela Puchalski


The essay and application must be received by April 1, 2022.


The Connecticut Council on Occupational Safety and Health Inc.