WASHINGTON, D.C. (WOAY)– The U.S. Department of Labor today announced an opioid-crisis Dislocated Worker Grant (DWG) to Workforce West Virginia for up to up to $10,000,000, with $3,333,333 released initially. This grant will provide disaster-relief jobs and employment services to eligible individuals in West Virginia impacted by the health and economic effects of widespread opioid use, addiction, and overdose.
This grant will provide eligible participants with disaster-relief employment in positions addressing the crisis, such as responders to deliver humanitarian assistance to the opioid-impacted homeless population and peer recovery coaches to help affected individuals navigate the path to recovery. The grant will also provide eligible individuals with training in healthcare professions related to addiction, treatment, prevention, and pain management.
West Virginia anticipates serving approximately 534 grant participants in the following metropolitan communities across the state: Beckley, Bluefield, Charleston, Huntington, Martinsburg, Morgantown, Parkersburg, and Wheeling.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared the opioid crisis a national public health emergency in October 2017, enabling West Virginia to request this funding for a DWG project.
Supported by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014, Dislocated Worker Grants temporarily expand the service capacity of dislocated worker programs at the state and local levels by providing funding assistance in response to large, unexpected economic events that cause significant job losses.