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Maryland Department of Labor, Partners Receive $1.9 Million to Aid Opioid Epidemic Recovery

BALTIMORE (July 26, 2018) – The U.S. Department of Labor this week announced more than $22 million in National Health Emergency (NHE) Dislocated Worker Demonstration Grant funding. Supported by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014, NHE Demonstration Grants provide funding to states, outlying areas, and eligible tribal governments to address the economic and workforce impacts associated with the opioid health crisis. Maryland, one of only six states to receive this aid, will utilize the $1.9 million grant to provide reemployment services for individuals impacted by the health and economic effects of widespread opioid use, addiction, and overdose.

“Maryland is one of six states that received funding to develop programs within the state to directly address the economic impacts of the nation’s opioid epidemic,” said Labor Secretary Kelly M. Schulz. “This targeted approach will provide a unique level of care that will complement the state’s existing workforce development programs, and will further Maryland’s collaborative statewide response efforts by directly assisting those impacted by this crisis.”

In keeping with the spirit of the governor's all-inclusive approach to workforce development in the state, the Maryland Department of Labor has partnered with the Opioid Operational Command Center, Governor’s Office for Children, Maryland Department of Health, Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention, Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, local workforce development agencies, faith and community-based organizations, and wellness recovery centers to create a comprehensive plan that places certified peer recovery specialists in American Job Centers across the state.

“Peer recovery specialists are a critical component in Maryland’s opioid response efforts,” said Secretary Schulz. “By expanding the state’s established peer network to include linkage for those seeking to re-enter the workforce, the Department of Labor’s proposal will offer a supportive and necessary resource to individuals who have experienced the impact of an opioid-use disorder, and their potential employers.”

The grant will allow the Department of Labor and its partners to serve individuals impacted by the opioid crisis who are looking to re-enter the workforce. Career services, training, and credentialing will all be made possible.

“This is an example of how Maryland is engaging the business community to offer opportunities for those in recovery to re-enter the workplace, which is key to their continued recovery,” said Clay Stamp, executive director of the Opioid Operational Command Center.

Other states receiving funding are Alaska, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Washington.

"I deeply appreciate the U.S. Department of Labor for selecting Maryland as one of six states to receive the National Health Emergency Dislocated Worker Demonstration Grant funding,” said Maryland Department of Health Secretary Robert R. Neall. “Through this funding, the state will be able to provide reemployment services for individuals impacted by the heroin and opioid epidemic, many of whom currently receive substance use disorder treatment and services through funding from the Maryland Department of Health. I’m certain under the leadership of Secretary Schulz, this funding will greatly impact Marylanders wishing to expedite their road to recovery and become gainfully employed.”

About the Maryland Department of Labor
The Maryland Department of Labor is committed to safeguarding and protecting Marylanders. We're proud to support the economic stability of the state by providing businesses, the workforce, and the consuming public with high-quality, customer-focused regulatory, employment, and training services. For updates and information, follow the Maryland Department of Labor on Twitter (@MD_Labor), Facebook and visit our website.

Theresa Blaner
Director, Communications and Media Relations
410-230-6241 (office)
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