PA Receives $5M Grant To Increase Employment Amid Opioid Epidemic

Federal grant will provide career services, new workforce support mobile app

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HARRISBURG (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) — Pennsylvania will receive nearly $5 million to help residents impacted by the opioid epidemic find employment.

It is part of a $22 million grant going to six states from the National Health Emergency Dislocated Worker program through the U.S. Department of Labor.

The organizations who are awarded money from the grants will focus on connecting career services to those in need.

State Deputy Secretary of Workforce Development Eileen Cipriani told the KDKA Radio Afternoon News the money will make service more mobile.

“We’re going to work in cooperation with the Department of Human Services PA Centers for Excellence and bring our mobile career services to where these individuals who are adversely impacted by the opioid epidemic are,” Cipriani said. “So we could bring career services and help them develop a plan for getting back to work.”

Other initiatives are increasing the number of Certified Recovery Specialists and provide additional training to retain existing specialists through education and outreach, engaging employers in Recovery Friends Workplace initiatives, and developing a mobile workforce support app.

“Individuals that come into our program will be able to go on this app to access resources where they are,” Cipriani said. “Whether they need transportation, health care, housing, whatever they might need, it will give them locally what resources are available to them and contact information on how to access them.”   

The grant will be administered by the Department of Labor and Industry to provide job training and employment support through four Local Workforce Development Boards across the state.

Locally, Washington Greene County Job Training Agency, Inc., which represents Beaver, Greene, and Washington counties, will receive a $411,400 award. Westmoreland/Fayette Workforce Investment Board, which represents Westmoreland and Fayette counties, will receive a nearly $472,600 award.

Central Pennsylvania Workforce Development Corp. and Philadelphia Works, Inc. will receive $1.1 million and $2 million awards respectively.  

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