US Labor Department awards nearly $20M to combat opioid epidemic

US Labor Department awards nearly $20M to combat opioid epidemic

U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia awarded nearly $20 million to four states significantly impacted by the opioid crisis, the Department of Labor announced Thursday.

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, the Maryland Department of Labor, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, and the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development were awarded the money as part of the DOL’s “Support to Communities: Fostering Opioid Recovery through Workforce Development” created after the passage of the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act of 2018. The money will be used to retrain workers in areas with high rates of substance use disorders.

At a press conference in Piketon, Ohio, Scalia said the DOL had awarded Ohio’s Department of Job and Family Services $5 million to help communities in southern Ohio combat the opioid crisis in that area.

“Today’s funding represents this Administration’s continued commitment to serving those most in need,” said Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training John Pallasch. “The U.S. Department of Labor is taking a strong stand to support individuals and communities impacted by the crisis.”

Grantees will use the funds to collaborate with community partners, such as employers, local workforce development boards, treatment and recovery centers, law enforcement officials, faith-based community organizations, and others, to address the economic effects of substance misuse, opioid use, addiction, and overdose.