Workers in New York State who’ve been affected by the impact of the opioid crisis are getting some help from the U.S. Department of Labor, in the form of funding for disaster relief jobs and employment services.

The Dislocated Worker Grant (DWG) award to state's Department of Labor will assist eligible individuals in New York counties impacted by the health and economic effects of widespread opioid use, addiction, and overdose. Funding has been approved up to $5,591,446 with an initial award of $1,863,815.

The grant will assist in providing eligible participants with disaster relief employment in jobs addressing the impacts of the opioid crisis, including positions such as peer supports, peer recovery navigators, and intake/coordinator aids. It will also provide employment services to participants seeking careers in healthcare professions related to addiction, treatment, prevention, and pain management. The state anticipates serving participants in the following 22 counties impacted by the opioid crisis: Clinton, Columbia, Dutchess, Essex, Franklin, Greene, Hamilton, Herkimer, Madison, Monroe, Nassau (the City of Long Beach and the Town of Hempstead), Oneida, Ontario, Onondaga, Orange, Putnam, Seneca, Suffolk, Sullivan, Wayne, Westchester, and Yates.   

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared the opioid crisis a national public health emergency in October 2017, enabling New York to request this funding for an NHE 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.