U.S. Department of Labor Provides National Health Emergency Dislocated Worker Grant to Combat Opioid Crisis in Massachusetts
WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced an opioid-crisis Dislocated Worker Grant (DWG) to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development for up to $2,450,295, with $816,765 released initially. This grant will provide disaster relief jobs and employment services to eligible individuals in eight Massachusetts counties who have been impacted by the health and economic effects of widespread opioid use, addiction, and overdose.
Jobs that address the impacts of the opioid crisis include peer recovery coaches, community health/outreach workers, and physical fitness trainers. The project will also provide employment services to participants seeking careers in healthcare professions related to addiction, mental health treatment, and pain management. The commonwealth anticipates serving approximately 150 participants in the following Massachusetts towns: Billerica, Chelmsford, Dracut, Dunstable, Tewksbury, Tyngsboro, Westford and the city of Lowell.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared the opioid crisis a national public health emergency in October 2017, enabling Massachusetts to request this funding for a DWG project.
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.