State receives $4M to support drug recovery job program

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Governor Gina M. Raimondo announced recently that Rhode Island will receive $4 million from the U.S. Department of Labor to support job training for Rhode Islanders in recovery.

With this grant, a press release states, “Governor Raimondo is keeping the promise she made in her State of the State address earlier this year to create a new job training program for people in recovery.” With these grant funds, the State will also prioritize training for skilled healthcare professionals who are helping Rhode Islanders in need access treatment and recovery services. Rhode Island is one of just six states to receive funding through this grant.

"There is no silver bullet in our fight against addiction: Helping Rhode Islanders in recovery to get a good job will save lives," said Raimondo. "This new job training funding will ensure that Rhode Islanders in recovery have the skills they need to compete. I know from the experience of hiring people in recovery that anyone with the strength and determination to commit themselves to their recovery will also commit themselves to their career."

Since taking office, Raimondo has brought a diverse group of advocates, health professionals, business leaders and others together to tackle the overdose and addiction crisis. The release claims that Rhode Island’s overdose prevention action plan has been “lauded by the National Governors Association and other organizations as a model for other states.”

Under Raimondo, Rhode Island has increased funding for treatment and recovery services, expanded access to naloxone (Narcan) and established the nation's first medication-assisted treatment program in the state prison. The ACI program has contributed to a 60 percent reduction in post incarceration overdose deaths since it launched last year.

"Every Rhode Islander deserves a shot at a good job,” said Department of Labor and Training Director Scott Jensen. “This funding will ensure we have the health workers we need, support Rhode Islanders in recovery, and provide business owners and employers access to even more talent.”

"A good, stable job is essential to recovery," said Acting Director of the Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Development Disabilities and Hospitals Tom Coderre. "This funding for job training will go a long way to help Rhode Islanders sustain their recovery."

In all, the U.S. Department of Labor awarded more than $22 million in National Health Emergency (NHE) Dislocated Worker Demonstration Grant funding to six states. The grants will be used to provide reemployment services for individuals impacted by the health and economic effects of widespread opioid use, addiction, and overdose. Early next month, Governor Raimondo will announce a new initiative to support recovery-friendly workplaces.

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