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Maryland receives $4.6M to help those significantly impacted by opioid epidemic in new initiative

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Posted at 12:52 PM, Aug 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-28 12:52:58-04

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — On Friday, Governor Larry Hogan announced that Maryland is one of only four states in the nation that was selected to participate in a new initiative to provide job training and other services to workers in communities significantly affected by the opioid crisis.

The U.S. Department of Labor has awarded $4.6 million in funding to the Maryland Department of Labor for the new “Support to Communities: Fostering Opioid Recovery through Workforce Development” pilot program, which will address the health and economic impacts of widespread substance and opioid misuse, addiction and overdose.

Governor Hogan and U.S. Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia discussed the new initiative during a call earlier this week.

"During Maryland's response to COVID-19, our administration has remained committed to combating the opioid and substance abuse crisis, which has affected far too many families and taken far too many lives across our state and our nation," said Governor Larry Hogan. "This funding is another powerful tool we can use to support Marylanders in the communities hit hardest by the opioid epidemic.”

The Maryland Department of Labor will direct the awarded funds to seven diverse Local Workforce Areas, which represent 14 jurisdictions across the state that have experienced negative social and economic impacts as a result of the opioid crisis. More than 700 Marylanders are anticipated to participate in the new pilot program, which will provide participants with job training and recovery services, leading to employment in 14 high-demand industries and occupations.

“Our department is very thankful to receive this funding from the U.S. Department of Labor, so we can continue to help Marylanders acquire the skills, tools and support they need to overcome workforce challenges related to opioid and substance abuse,” said Secretary Tiffany Robinson of the Maryland Department of Labor. “This funding could not have come at a more critical time and will give those impacted by the opioid epidemic hope for a better tomorrow."

The 14 jurisdictions that will receive funds include Allegany, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Frederick, Garrett, Harford, Kent, Talbot, Queen Anne’s, Washington counties and Baltimore City.

Subgrantee jurisdiction served award amount:

  • Anne Arundel Workforce Development Corporation Anne Arundel - $500,000
  • Baltimore City Mayor’s Office of Employment Development Baltimore City - $1,400,000
  • Baltimore County Department of Economic and Workforce Development Baltimore County - $646,519
  • Frederick Workforce Services Frederick - $400,000
  • Susquehanna Workforce Network Cecil, Harford - $500,000
  • Upper Shore Workforce Investment Board Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Talbot - $100,000
  • Western Maryland Consortium Allegany, Garrett, Washington - $500,000

“Job skills training can have profound benefits for those embarking on the journey of recovery,” said Steve Schuh, Executive Director of Maryland’s Opioid Operational Command Center. “By creating opportunities for Marylanders to learn new job skills, we create opportunities for Marylanders to enhance their recoveries and unlock further successes.”