Connecticut receives $4.7M jobs grant in response to opioid crisis

The federal government recently awarded the Connecticut Department of Labor up to $4.7 million in grant funding to provide disaster-relief jobs and employment services to eligible individuals impacted by the health and economic effects of widespread opioid use, addiction and overdoses.

The grant, announced in a news release by the U.S. Department of Labor on Tuesday night, will provide eligible participants jobs as peer navigators in American Job Centers and community centers. Peer navigators help those affected by the opioid crisis with referrals for counseling and supportive services and guide them as they prepare for new careers.

Grant funding also will go toward career and training services to eligible individuals transitioning to jobs addressing the opioid crisis, including credentialed counselors and recovery coaches.

"The U.S. Department of Labor is helping people suffering from the effects of the opioid crisis find productive and sustainable employment," acting Secretary of Labor Patrick Pizzella said. "These funds are an important investment in Connecticut's efforts to respond to this emergency."

Connecticut expects the funding to serve 300 grant participants in New London, Fairfield, Hartford, Litchfield, Middlesex, New Haven, Tolland and Windham counties. The state requested the funding for a Dislocated Worker Grant project, made available after the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared the opioid crisis a national public health emergency in October 2017.

The U.S. Department of Labor noted that Dislocated Worker Grants — which temporarily expand the service capacity of dislocated worker programs in response to large, unexpected economic events causing heavy job losses — are supported by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014.

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