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Local News

Will County earns grant to assist those affected by opioid crisis

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity awarded Will County more than $850,000 in grant money for employment and training services for those affected by the opioid epidemic.

Officials from the Workforce Services Division of Will County and the Office of Substance Use Initiatives under the Will County Executives Office announced the grant this week.

Through local partnerships, the grant will fund job training for 40 people who have been displaced from the workforce because of the opioid crisis, according to a news release. The grant will also increase the behavioral health resources available in the community.

“Stopping drug use is just one part of a long and complex recovery process,” said Kathleen Burke, director of the Office of Substance Use Initiatives. “Addiction has often caused serious consequences in their lives, their family lives, at work and in the community.”

The trained recovery coaches will be matched with partner sites in Will County to gain paid work experience, while working with Governors State University’s Department of Addictions Studies and Behavioral Health.

This grant will also enable participants in the program to become “career certified” in a two-week work-readiness training developed by Joliet Junior College’s Workforce Development department to learn soft skills in preparation for a job search.

The award is part of a national
$1.87 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to provide disaster-relief jobs and employment services across the nation.

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