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On March 20, 2018, the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) issued Training and Employment Guidance Letter (TEGL) No. 12-17 announcing a new National Health Emergency Dislocated Worker Demonstration Grant program to help communities address the economic and workforce-related impacts of the opioid crisis.

The NHE grants are meant to counter the negative employment impacts of the opioid crisis and encourage training opportunities for skilled professions positioned to address the underlying causes of the crisis.

A core principle of the NHE grants is that career and training services are only one part of a comprehensive set of solutions that address the health and well-being of individuals who have been struggling with addiction issues. Therefore, the NHE program requires that grantees develop appropriate partnerships and strategies with community, health, justice and other organizations to address the range of challenges that may be faced by opioid-affected individuals, prior to or concurrently with delivery of career and training services, to ensure the best chances of retaining current employment or finding new and sustained employment.

The goals of the NHE Demonstration project are to:

  • Test innovative approaches to address the economic and workforce-related impacts of the opioid epidemic;
  • Provide training and support activities to dislocated workers (including displaced homemakers), new entrants in the workforce, and incumbent workers, including individuals in these populations who are or have been impacted by the opioid crisis; and,
  • To provide training that builds the skilled workforce in professions that could impact the causes and treatment of the opioid crisis, including addiction and substance-abuse treatment, mental health, and pain management.

ETA awarded NHE Demonstrations Grants to six states: