COLUMBIA, Pa. (WHTM) – Federal officials were in the area Thursday to announce additional funds will be added to help fight the opioid crisis.
Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia and Office of National Drug Control Policy Director Jim Carroll said the $20 million in federal grants could help those going through recovery find work.
The announcement was made during a round table in Lancaster County.
Scalia said the grants, which are now taking applications, would be focused on jobs battling the opioid crisis. He said grants could incentivize employers to hire those going through recovery.
“Our expectation and hope is that very quickly we will have more job training opportunities for individual men and women whose lives have been affected by opioids,” Scalia said.
The grants could also be given to those who create jobs that are dedicated to treating addiction.
Carroll believes almost everyone across the country could benefit from the grants.
“I think we’re reducing stigma in this country of people willing to come forward and say I need help,” Carroll said. “It’s also to support family members around them.”
Before making the announcement, Scalia and Carroll toured the Gatehouse recovery center in Lancaster County.
Gatehouse executive director Jodi Holland says the money the government is dedicating to battling the opioid crisis could be life-changing.
“It takes one organization or business to take a risk and hire someone, but a lot of times businesses aren’t willing to take that risk,” she explained. “When there is monetary value behind it for them, or the risk is lowered based on grants, it’s going to have an impact on all of our clients and communities.”