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County Administrative Office

Posted on: October 20, 2020

Dislocated Worker Grant for Opioids Receives Recognition for Economic Equity and Inclusion


The County Administrative Office of Economic Development won a gold category award for its Humboldt Opioid National Dislocated Worker Grant (NWDG), a project in the category of Economic Equity and Inclusion of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). The honor was presented at an awards ceremony last week during the IEDC Annual Conference in Washington, DC.

“Humboldt County is not unique in many of the challenges our community faces,” said Allison Tans, an Economic Development Specialist with the county and author of the Humboldt Opioid NWDG. “What really sets us apart is in our innovative solutions and ways we address challenges. The Humboldt Opioid NWDG project is a ground-breaking project that provides meaningful work in a critical field. This approach can be easily translated to other parts of the country because it is a replicable program that other communities can adopt.” 

About the Humboldt Opioid NWDG

According to the California Department of Public Health, there were 28 opioid overdose deaths in Humboldt County in 2017, which placed Humboldt as the county with the second-highest opioid overdose death rate in the state. The Humboldt County Workforce Development Board applied for a grant with the Employment Development Department in 2018, the National Health Emergency Phase Two: Disaster Recovery National Dislocated Worker Grant for Opioids (Humboldt Opioid NDWG). The grant provides two projects: Temporary Jobs, and Workforce Development Training and Temporary Jobs. All participants complete a 9-hour Ethics training. Upon completion, 10 participants gained employment in temporary jobs related to substance abuse treatment and prevention. An additional 25 participants enrolled in a Certified Alcohol Drug Counselor I (CADC-I) training program that runs 8-10 weeks for 30-40 hours each week, and obtained temporary jobs. This project provides five worksites with subsidized staff. By connecting people in recovery and the unemployed with professions that target substance abuse, this project helps address the economic effects of the opioid crisis and improves the overall quality of lives.

IEDC's Excellence in Economic Development Awards recognize the world's best economic development programs and partnerships, marketing materials, and the year's most influential leaders. 35 award categories honor organizations and individuals for their efforts in creating positive change in urban, suburban, and rural communities. Awards are judged by a diverse panel of economic and community developers from around the world, following a nomination process held earlier this year. IEDC received over 500 submissions from 4 countries.

“The winners of IEDC’s Excellence in Economic Development awards represent the very best of economic development and exemplify the ingenuity, integrity, and leadership that our profession strives for each and every day”, said 2020 IEDC Board Chair and One Columbus CEO Kenny McDonald. “We’re honored to recognize the more than 100 communities whose marketing campaigns, projects and partnerships that have measurably improved the regional quality of life.”

 About the International Economic Development Council

The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is a non-profit, non-partisan membership organization serving economic developers. With more than 5,000 members, IEDC is the largest organization of its kind. Economic developers promote economic well-being and quality of life for their communities, by creating, retaining and expanding jobs that facilitate growth, enhance wealth and provide a stable tax base. From public to private, rural to urban and local to international, IEDC’s members are engaged in the full range of economic development experience. Given the breadth of economic development work, our members are employed in a wide variety of settings including local, state, provincial and federal governments, public-private partnerships, chambers of commerce, universities and a variety of other institutions. When we succeed, our members create high-quality jobs, develop vibrant communities, and improve the quality of life in their regions. Learn more at

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