U.S. Secretary of Labor Announces Award of Nearly $20 Million To Combat Opioid Crisis
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia today announced the award of nearly $20 million in funding to four states as part of a new pilot program to address the health and economic impacts of widespread substance and opioid misuse, addiction and overdose by providing retraining and other services to workers in communities significantly impacted by the opioid crisis. The grantees are 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.
In October 2018, President Trump signed the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, which directed the Department to develop a pilot grant program focused on addressing the economic and workforce impacts associated with the high rate of substance use disorders. The Department’s grant program – “Support to Communities: Fostering Opioid Recovery through Workforce Development” – was created in response to the Act.
Secretary Eugene Scalia was joined by Ohio Department of Job and Family Services Director Kimberly Hall, and U.S. Rep. Brad Wenstrup (OH-02) for the announcement in Piketon, Ohio, today.
“Today’s announcement is another important step in the President’s and the Labor Department’s efforts to address the opioid crisis in the United States,” Secretary Scalia remarked. “Altogether, the Department is awarding nearly $20 million to help four States combat the devastating effects of opioids. I’m pleased to be in Piketon to announce a grant of $5 million to help communities in southern Ohio fight the ravages of the drug epidemic and grow stronger than ever.”
“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.”
President Trump has made addressing the opioid crisis a priority in his Administration, declaring a national public health emergency and allocating significant funds and personnel to support treatment and recovery services, target availability of overdose-reversing drugs, train first responders and more. In October 2017, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency. Since that time, the Department of Labor has approved up to $193 million in grant funds to address the crisis in communities that have been severely impacted.
Applicants will use these funds to collaborate with a network of partners to address the drug epidemic in their local areas. Grantees will engage community partners, such as local workforce development boards, employers or industry organizations, treatment and recovery centers, education providers, legal services and law enforcement organizations, and community-based and faith-based organizations, to address the economic effects of widespread substance misuse, opioid use, addiction and overdose in significantly impacted service areas.
The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.