The U.S. Department of Labor announced Tuesday it’s granting Indiana between $1.5 million and $4.7 million to combat the ongoing effects of the opioid crisis. It will create disaster-relief jobs to treat drug use and addiction.
Indiana’s Department of Workforce Development received a dislocated worker grant commonly used after large layoffs or disasters to help re-employ workers. It plans to serve about 450 grants recipients in areas of southeastern Indiana – hit hardest by the opioid crisis.
The money will be used to hire more community health workers and addiction recovery coaches. It can also be used for programs that help recovering opioid users get training to go back into the workforce.
Michael Barnes is the chief workforce officer for the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. He says in many places the health crisis has made it hard for businesses looking to hire employees.
"They have higher turnover rates [and] increased costs associated with employment, so it really puts employers on a bad path in those areas," he says.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared the opioid crisis a national public health emergency in 2017.