Weekly Update: Fighting the Heroin and Opioid Epidemic, Expanding Services to People with Disabilities, and Supporting New Businesses and Job Creation

By: The Office of Governor Tom Wolf

January 12, 2018

On Wednesday, Governor Wolf took another step forward in bolstering the fight against the heroin and opioid epidemic. He signed a statewide disaster declaration, which is that first of its kind for a public health emergency. This declaration will enhance state response, increase access to treatment, and save lives.

The declaration builds on Governor Wolf’s significant expansion of Pennsylvania’s response to the epidemic over the last three years, including expanding access to treatment for more than 125,000 Pennsylvanians through Medicaid expansion and the Centers of Excellence, vastly expanding the use and availability of naloxone to save lives, and enacting significant reforms to over-prescribing that reduced doctor-shopping by 86% and overall opioid prescribing by double digits.

“While we have made progress in combatting the heroin and opioid abuse crisis and drastically expanded Pennsylvania’s response, we are still losing far too many Pennsylvanians,” Governor Wolf said. “I am taking this step to protect Pennsylvanians from this looming public health crisis, and I am using every tool at my disposal to get those suffering from substance use disorders into treatment, save more lives, and improve response coordination.”

Governor Wolf began this week by showing his strong support for job creation here in the commonwealth. He attended the Ribbon Cutting ceremony for an e-commerce company, Turn5, in Paoli, which has committed to creating at least 183 new jobs over the next three years and retaining an additional 301 existing Pennsylvania employees.

“Our partnership will help Turn5 continue to grow and thrive, while providing good, family sustaining jobs for this entire region,” said Governor Wolf. “This company’s success is proof that when companies invest here in Pennsylvania, they have the support they need to grow and thrive.”

Creating opportunities for Pennsylvanians through education, job training, and economic development remains one of Governor Wolf’s top priorities. On Tuesday, the Governor stopped by Lehigh Carbon Community College to talk with commercial truck driving students and employers about how students can be equipped with the skills to become qualified for in-demand jobs like commercial truck driving. He then stopped by All Sports America in Northumberland to celebrate his administration’s support for this company, which is expected to hire 42 new full-time employees over the next 3 years.

“In an era in which so many companies choose to move their operations overseas, success stories like All Sports America show that the best place for a company to grow and thrive is often right here in Pennsylvania,” Governor Wolf said. “I applaud All Sports America for their success so far, and I’m looking forward to seeing them continue to grow in the years to come.”

The Governor also demonstrated his commitment to government efficiency on Friday by announcing the commonwealth’s $1M investment in downtown Scranton. The funding is provided through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program, and will help create the new Lackawanna County Government Center at the historic Globe building on Wyoming Avenue. This move will give Scranton the opportunity to bring more workers to downtown Scranton, and revitalize the community.

By ensuring that services are available for those who need them most, the Governor continues to pursue his mission of creating a government that works for everyone. On Monday, he took another step toward fulfilling this mission by announcing that the Department of Human launched a Community Living Waiver, which will make services available for 1,000 more individuals with an Intellectual Disability or autism in the commonwealth. This program will allow individuals to live more independently in their homes and participate more fully in their communities through services that support independent living, employment in a competitive job, and full engagement in community activities.

Governor Wolf’s Week, January 7 – January 13, 2018

Monday, 1/8/18
Tuesday, 1/9/18
Wednesday, 1/10/18
Thursday, 1/11/18
Friday, 1/12/18

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