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New grant to help MN opioid victims return to workforce


DULUTH, MN -- The pandemic has upended many lives, exacerbating an ongoing public health crisis that existed before the pandemic and continues to impact thousands of Minnesotans.

The opioid crisis hasn’t gone away, and now Minnesota has more resources to help those both directly and indirectly affected by opioid addiction.

This month, the U.S Department of Labor awarded the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) a $1.3 million National Health Emergency Dislocated Worker Grant to help address the state’s opioid crisis.

The grant will assist in reintegrating individuals affected by opioid addiction into the workforce, helping them prepare for in-demand careers in health care, social services, and other fields.

The economic, health and social effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have worsened Minnesota’s opioid crisis. High rates of abuse and overdoses have increased chemical dependency treatment service gaps in many communities across the state.

This grant will provide additional resources to offer eligible individuals one-on-one counseling, interest assessments, job search assistance, and training for careers in high-demand occupations.

Four Workforce Development Area (WDA) partners - Anoka County, Central Minnesota Jobs and Training Services, the City of Duluth, and the Southeast Minnesota Workforce Development Board - will also be partnering with local health care, housing, higher education organizations to better meet the needs of the participants.

Ryan Haff

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