WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced an incremental award of $768,337 to support continued efforts to provide disaster-relief jobs and employment and training services for people in Massachusetts communities, helping to address the health and economic effects of widespread opioid use, addiction and overdose. In July 2021, the department’s Employment and Training Administration awarded an Opioid Disaster Recovery Dislocated Worker Grant of up to $2,368,337 – with an initial award of $800,000 – to enable Massachusetts to combat the harmful effects of the opioid crisis on the local workforce. The department awarded a second incremental grant of $800,000 in July 2023. With today’s funding, the total awarded for the project is the full approved $2,368,337.The funding supports employment of members of the local workforce as community health workers, peer navigators, recovery specialists and recovery coaches. The project also provides employment and training services to people affected by the opioid crisis, with a focus on training formerly incarcerated people for work in high demand occupations in the maritime trade industry.The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared the opioid crisis a national public health emergency in October 2017, thereby enabling Massachusetts to request this funding. Supported by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, and administered by the department’s Employment and Training Administration, the Opioid Disaster Recovery Dislocated Worker Grants create temporary disaster-relief jobs and provide services to help reintegrate workers affected by the opioid crisis into the workforce.
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