WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the award of $800,000 in funding to the Washington State Department of Employment Security to provide for disaster-relief employment and training services for people in southwest Washington communities affected significantly by the health and economic effects of widespread opioid use, addiction and overdose. Administered by the department’s Employment and Training Administration, the National Health Emergency Dislocated Worker Grant – with an approved threshold of more than $1.4 million – will support a project serving Clark and Cowlitz counties. Funding will create disaster-relief positions in Washington’s southwest regional workforce area. The grant will also enable the provision of employment and training services to dislocated workers in these counties experiencing long-term unemployment and facing homelessness related to the opioid crisis. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared the opioid crisis a national public health emergency in October 2017, enabling Washington to request this funding. Supported by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014, Dislocated Worker Grants temporarily expand the service capacity of dislocated worker programs at the state and local levels by providing funding assistance in response to large, unexpected economic events that cause significant job losses.

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