US Department of Labor News: DOL provides national health emergency dislocated worker grant to combat opioid crisis in Washington

WASHINGTON, DC (STL.News) – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced an opioid-crisis Dislocated Worker Grant (DWG) of $886,860 to the Washington State Department of Employment Security to provide disaster relief jobs and employment services to eligible individuals in five Washington counties impacted by the health and economic effects of widespread opioid use, addiction, and overdose.

Grant funding will provide eligible participants with disaster-relief employment as peer recovery specialists to assist individuals impacted by the opioid crisis.  The grant funding will also assist with the provision of career, training, and supportive services to eligible individuals who self-identify as affected by the opioid crisis.  Funds from this opioid-crisis grant also could be used to provide career, training, and supportive services to eligible individuals seeking to transition to professions that could impact the crisis.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared the opioid crisis a national public health emergency in October 2017.  After awarding six opioid demonstration projects following the declaration, DOL issued guidance creating a streamlined process for states to apply for National Health Emergency DWGs under the health emergency declaration.

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.