Washington State and Missouri will get some help in combating the opioid crisis in the form of Dislocated Worker Grants (DWG) from the U.S. Department of Labor. The Missouri Division of Workforce Development will receive up to $4,090,306 and the Washington State Department of Employment Security will get $886,860 to fund disaster relief jobs and employment services in counties impacted by the health and economic effects of widespread opioid use, addiction, and overdose.

The grants will fund peer recovery specialist positions at community and recovery treatment centers and provide employment services to participants seeking careers in healthcare professions related to addiction, treatment, prevention, and pain management.

Additionally, the funding will assist with career, training, and supportive services to eligible individuals who self-identify as affected by the opioid crisis.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared the opioid crisis a national public health emergency in October 2017, enabling Missouri to request this funding for a National Health Emergency DWG project.

Supported by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014, DWGs 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.