Projects

How the Workforce System Can Address Challenges Presented by the Opioid Crisis

2018–2021

Project Overview

Objective

To study how six states that received National Health Emergency demonstration grants from the U.S. Department of Labor are leveraging their workforce systems to confront the challenges of the opioid crisis. 

Project Motivation

The widespread and ongoing misuse of opioids has become a national public emergency, with more than 130 people dying each day from opioid-related drug overdoses. Research suggests that most employers feel their workplace has been affected by opioid-related issues, but few feel prepared to deal with them. State workforce systems can serve people in recovery, help to develop the health care workforce, and reach out to employers to address the opioid crisis in local communities. It is important to document states’ innovative approaches to addressing economic and workforce-related impacts of the opioid crisis, including an account of implementation challenges and promising practices, so that promising programs can be scaled up and replicated in other parts of the country.  

Partners in Progress

Social Policy Research Associates, the Chief Evaluation Office of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration 

Prepared For

U.S. Department of Labor

In 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor awarded six states (Alaska, Maryland, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Washington) National Health Emergency demonstration grants to leverage the workforce system in addressing challenges presented by the opioid crisis. 

Specifically, states could use the grants to provide employment services to people affected by the opioid crisis, put in place employer supports for people in recovery from opioid use disorder, and develop the health care workforce to help address the opioid crisis. This study aims to produce information that will be of practical assistance to the state National Health Emergency grantees, the broader workforce system, and other practitioner communities.

Related Staff

Jillian Berk

Jillian Berk

Associate Director

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Crystal  Blyler

Crystal Blyler

Senior Researcher

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Michaela Vine

Michaela Vine

Senior Researcher

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Colleen Staatz

Colleen Staatz

Researcher

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