National Health Emergency - Opioid Grants

The public workforce system complements the role of health, law enforcement, and social service agencies to address the impact of opioid addiction and other substance use disorders. The Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), at the White House's direction, declared the opioid crisis a national public health emergency in October 2017. The continued widespread misuse of and addiction to opioids and other drugs, including illicit drugs, remains a nationwide crisis.

Since 2018, the Department of Labor has issued three grant opportunities addressing the workforce impacts of the opioid addiction and other substance abuse disorders.  Under these programs, grantees provide reemployment services for individuals impacted by the crisis; train individuals to transition into professions that can impact the crisis, such as alternative pain management, mental health treatment, and addiction treatment; and create temporary employment opportunities for peer recovery counselors and other positions that have a direct impact on the crisis. 

First Demonstration Grants: In 2018, the Department awarded $22 million across six National Health Emergency (NHE) Dislocated Worker Demonstration Grants. These innovative grants respond to the opioid crisis and were awarded to six states: Alaska, Maryland, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Washington.

Ongoing Disaster Recovery Dislocated Worker Grants: From 2018 to the present, the Department has awarded over $54 million across 22 NHE Disaster Recovery DWGs to states and tribal entities. NHE Disaster Recovery DWG funding continues to be available, per Training and Employment Guidance Letter TEGL 04-18, to respond to the opioid crisis, and these grants are reviewed on a rolling basis.

SUPPORT Act Demonstration Grants: In September 2020, the Department awarded $20 million in grant awards under the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities Act (SUPPORT Act), to respond to opioid addiction and other substance use disorders. Grants were awarded to four states: Florida, Maryland, Ohio and Wisconsin.

For more on the Department's efforts on the role of the workforce system in responding to the opioid crisis, see Training and Employment Notice (TEN) 2-21, Serving Individuals and Communities Impacted by Opioid Addiction and Other Substance Use Disorders.