Snohomish among 6 hard-hit counties to get opioid funds

State receives almost $5 million to help addicts and their caregivers return to the workplace.

EVERETT — Workforce Snohomish will receive $2.4 million in federal funds to help people affected by the opioid crisis find employment.

The U.S. Department of Labor awarded Washington nearly $5 million to assist recovering opioid users and their caregivers return to the workplace.

The money will be distributed over the next three years to the Washington State Employment Security Department, Pacific Mountain Workforce Development Council and Workforce Snohomish. The three organizations will work with community health providers and health-related groups, employers and other public and private entities.

The grant is intended to fund job placement, training and other services for people who’ve lost their jobs while receiving treatment for opioid use, or while caring for a friend or family member with an addiction.

The funds may also be used to help train people interested in professions that fight the opioid epidemic.

More than $22 million in federal funds were distributed among six states: Washington, Alaska, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania. Washington, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire received the greatest amounts, nearly $5 million each.

Six counties in Washington have been identified as hit hard by the opioid epidemic: Grays Harbor County, Mason County, Thurston County, Lewis County, Pacific County and Snohomish County.

“Opioid usage is not only a health crisis,” Erin Monroe, CEO of Workforce Snohomish said in a prepared statement. “Opioids have affected the number of people available to fill open positions across our county.”

Snohomish County has been disproportionately affected by the opioid crisis.

“Snohomish County represents only about 10 percent of the state’s population, yet we experience 18 percent of the state’s heroin-related deaths,” Monroe said.

From 2012 to 2016, Snohomish County experienced nearly 15 percent of all opioid-related deaths in the state.

Services will primarily be available at two sites: WorkSource Everett and the future Carnegie Resource Center, to be located at the Snohomish County Human Services/Law and Justice Complex. Anyone affected by opioid use, including caregivers, is eligible for services.

For treatment information, call the 24-hour Washington Recovery Help Line at 866-789-1511 or go to

Janice Podsada:; 425-339-3097; Twitter: JPods

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