The US Department of Labor has allocated $768,000 to aid in the creation of jobs and training for disaster relief efforts in Massachusetts, as well as to sustain the state’s efforts to address the opioid crisis.

The U.S. Department of Labor has announced a new award of $768,337 to support ongoing efforts in Massachusetts to provide disaster-relief jobs and employment and training services for individuals affected by the opioid crisis. This funding will help address the health and economic impacts of widespread opioid use, addiction, and overdose in local communities.

In July 2021, the department awarded an initial Opioid Disaster Recovery Dislocated Worker Grant of $800,000 to Massachusetts, with a total potential award of up to $2,368,337. This grant was designed to assist the state in combatting the harmful effects of the opioid crisis on its workforce. In July 2023, a second incremental grant of $800,000 was awarded, bringing the total funding for the project to the full approved amount.

The grant will support the employment of community health workers, peer navigators, recovery specialists, and recovery coaches from the local workforce. It will also provide employment and training services to individuals affected by the opioid crisis, with a focus on training formerly incarcerated individuals for high-demand jobs in the maritime trade industry.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared the opioid crisis a national public health emergency in October 2017, allowing Massachusetts to request this funding. Administered by the department’s Employment and Training Administration and supported by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, the Opioid Disaster Recovery Dislocated Worker Grants aim to create temporary disaster-relief jobs and provide services to help affected workers reintegrate into the workforce.  

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