Opioid-Recovery Program Connects People Directly and Indirectly Impacted by Opioid Use with Resources

The “Connecting with Opportunities Initiative” Provides Financial Support and Individualized Support with Education, Training and Finding Meaningful Employment

Presque Isle, ME – Aroostook County Action Program (ACAP) recently implemented “Maine’s Connecting with Opportunities Initiative,” funded by a $6.2 million federal grant secured by Maine’s Department of Labor in partnership with Eastern Maine Development Corporation (EMDC).

The new statewide initiative provides hope and opportunities to people directly or indirectly impacted by opioid use disorder (OUD), and to others who wish to work in occupations needed to mitigate the opioid crisis, including jobs in the healthcare and substance use disorder treatment fields. Through financial support and individualized guidance, eligible individuals will have access to education, training, employment and supportive services.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to gain access to valuable support services that can lead to a self-sustaining career,” explained Erin Benson, Program Coordinator of ACAP’s Workforce Development program. “Maine has been hit hard by the opioid crisis, and this funding can give people the leg up they need to find meaningful employment that is so critical to the recovery process. It is also an opportunity for people displaced from their jobs due to the pandemic to seek a new career path.”

Maine’s “Connecting with Opportunities Initiative” is available statewide. ACAP is implementing the initiative through EMDC and the Northeastern Workforce Development Board (NWDB) in Aroostook County. Other workforce development agencies will provide similar services elsewhere in Maine.

Specifically, ACAP will identify and serve individuals through partnerships with organizations, government agencies, and businesses, including: Aroostook County’s Recovery Centers, correctional agencies, and non-profits providing services to the impacted population. ACAP has been providing resources and career advising to people with barriers to education and employment for over 40 years. During the past year, the agency hired a recovery coach expanding its outreach and service delivery to people in recovery from substance use disorder.

An information session for interested organizations will be held Tuesday, June 16th, at 2:00 p.m. via Zoom. Those interested in registering to learn more about the initiative should contact Erin Benson at ACAP by e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by calling 554-4165.

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Aroostook County Action Program provides the people of Aroostook County with services and resources that help individuals and families achieve greater economic independence. As a leader, or in partnership with others, ACAP provides guidance to the community in responding to emerging human needs in the areas of community health, early care and education, energy and housing, and workforce development services.

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