Business, Health, Politics

Baltimore County to receive $646,519 for workforce development pilot program to combat opioid epidemic

BALTIMORE, MD—Governor Larry Hogan on Friday announced that Maryland is one of only four states in the nation selected to participate in a new initiative to provide 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 Hogan. “This funding is another powerful tool we can use to support Marylanders in the communities hit hardest by the opioid epidemic. I had the chance to thank Secretary Scalia and discuss Maryland’s role in advancing this new national initiative.”

The Maryland Department of Labor will direct the awarded funds to seven diverse Local Workforce Areas, representing 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 Labor Secretary Tiffany Robinson. “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, and Washington counties and Baltimore City.

Under the program, the Baltimore County Department of Economic and Workforce Development will receive $646,519.

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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.”

Since 2018, the Maryland Department of Labor has been awarded more than $7 million in federal funding to combat the opioid crisis through the use of innovative workforce strategies. Most recently, the department sub-granted nearly $500,000 to Maryland New Directions and PIVOT, two Baltimore-based non-profit organizations, to connect women impacted by the opioid crisis to occupational training, employment opportunities, and integrated supportive services.

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