PORTLAND — A Maine program that connects people affected by the opioid epidemic with education and training has received more than $2 million from the federal government.

The U.S. Department of Labor is giving the money to the state. It will support the “Connecting with Opportunities Initiative,” which Maine officials said also provides skills development and job search support.

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills said helping people affected by the opioid crisis get “training they need to find and keep good-paying jobs is an important step forward on the road of recovery.”

The crisis has worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic. State officials have said drug overdose deaths increased by nearly a quarter last year.

Maine began the education and training initiative in 2020.