Health Care and Wellness

$11M Grant to Focus on Opioid Epidemic, Workforce

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Over the next two years, the state of Ohio will invest $11 million to help employers and unemployed workers overcome issues related to the opioid epidemic.

In an announcement Wednesday, Gov. Mike DeWine said the funds will support employers who hire individuals in recovery and provide job training and other services to help unemployed workers recover from substance use disorder and find jobs. Funds are part of a National Health Emergency Disaster Recovery Dislocated Worker Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.

“This federal grant is an example of what RecoveryOhio is all about. We collaborate to address the unique needs of residents,” DeWine said in a release. “Recovery involves not just treatment, but ongoing supports to help individuals lead healthy, productive lives.”

The grant will be distributed among 20 local workforce development areas in Ohio, according to the release. Services will be tailored to local needs, including innovative approaches to combat addiction issues, such as supporting employers who offer second-chance policies and hire individuals in recovery.

Other services may include job training, career services and supportive services for unemployed workers who have been directly or indirectly affected by the opioid crisis.

In addition, funds will be used to provide temporary employment to alleviate workforce issues related to the opioid epidemic, including the hiring of 911 operators, first responders, peer recovery supporters, or children services aides for up to 12 months or 2,040 hours. Funds will also help build the addiction treatment, mental health and pain management workforce in the state.

Copyright 2019 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.