Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King announced that the Maine Department of Labor has been awarded an opioid-crisis National Health Emergency Dislocated Worker Grant of up to $6,281,891—with $2,093,964 released initially. This funding will support disaster-relief jobs and provide employment services to eligible individuals in Maine communities affected by the health and economic impact of widespread opioid use, addiction, and overdose.
“The epidemic of opioid abuse is devastating families and communities across the state, claiming the life of nearly one Mainer per day on average last year,” said Senators Collins and King in a joint statement. “This important funding will help address this public health crisis and give Mainers who are struggling with substance use disorders access to the treatment programs they need to overcome addiction and reenter the workforce.”
This grant, awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor, will provide eligible participants with disaster-relief employment in peer recovery positions to help individuals affected by opioid use access recovery resources. The grant will also provide employment and training services to reintegrate eligible individuals back into the workforce. The state anticipates serving approximately 683 grant participants throughout nine counties.
In October 2017, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared the opioid crisis a national public health emergency, enabling Maine to request this funding.