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Workforce GPS: Implications of Substance/Opioid Misuse and Addiction for the Workforce Development System

  • Location: 
    Online webinar
    Thursday, October 18, 2018 - 2:00pm to 3:30pm

Substance abuse, in particular opioid misuse and addiction, is a national epidemic.  Last year, drug overdoses killed about 72,000 Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Workforce development professionals must gain a greater awareness of the issue and its impact on participants and employer partners as well as on workforce service delivery.  Join the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in this webinar to discuss federal efforts to support communities in addressing these challenges.  Participants will learn about the Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment approach to the delivery of early intervention and treatment for people with substance use disorders and those at risk of developing these disorders.

Key personnel who should attend this webinar include program directors or managers, program coordinators, case managers, outreach and recruitment coordinators, supportive services personnel, and other personnel who work directly with participants.

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Walker Reed Forman, lead public health advisor, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Holly Hagle, co-director, ATTC (Addiction Technology Transfer Center) Network Coordinating Office; co-director ATTC STR-TA (State Targeted Response-Technical Assistance) grant; assistant research professor, Collaborative to Advance Health Services, School of Nursing and Health Studies,/ University of Missouri-Kansas City

Pat McNeil, associate director, Substance Use Intervention, YouthBuild USA

David Clauss, program director, YouthBuild Austin, American YouthWorks, Inc. 


Amanda Ahlstrand, administrator, Office of Workforce Investment, U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration


Paul Jurmo's picture

I recently sat in on the previously-mentioned USDOL webinar on how workforce development services are trying to respond to the opioid abuse epidemic. I commend the organizers and offer these comments:

— Gave a good overview of the extent of the opioid crisis and the impacts on job seekers, workers, employers, and communities.
— Allowed experienced people to share ideas about strategies that work. 
— Acknowledged that this is a complex problem and requires use of evidence-based strategies and integration/coordination of services.
— Stressed need to be client-centered, respectful, and empowering rather than punitive in how to work with clients. 
— Gave information about medical interventions (including particular medications) that need to be part of the solution. 

To see materials developed for that webinar, visit: 

Paul Jurmo.                    


Michael Cruse's picture

Hi, Paul -

I'm glad you were able to attend this webinar.  Thanks for sharing some of the highlights.  I wonder if you found any immediate take-aways that other adult educators dealing with the impact of this epidemic may be able to use in their programs?


Mike Cruse

Jeri Gue's picture

This was a very valuable webinar for all adult service providers.  I think the biggest take-away is the awareness of the impact of opioids on adult education, and the understanding that there is help available.