The Appalachian Regional Commission put the stamp of approval this week on recommendations to help people struggling with substance use disorder get back into the workforce.
ARC’s Substance Abuse Advisory Council was tasked in May with creating a roadmap for communities in Appalachia struggling with how to help those in recovery get support services and training, maintain their recovery and re-enter the workforce.
The council’s final report was released earlier this week. It focuses on a “recovery-to-work ecosystem” approach, which links multiple support services together — from recovery to transportation.
The report highlights communication and bridging gaps between employers, employees in recovery, recovery organizations, and workforce development agencies. It also suggests job training programs that incorporate recovery services.
The report also suggests creating a toolkit for employers with best practices on how to recruit, select and manage employees in recovery.
Many of the recommendations’ key themes were drawn from six Recovery-to-Work Listening Sessions hosted by ARC from December 2018 to April of this year.
**Editor’s Note: This post originally stated the Substance Abuse Advisory Council created a toolkit for employers, however this was incorrect. The post was edited on Sept. 7, 2019 at 6:40 a.m. for clarification.
Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, with support from Marshall Health and Charleston Area Medical Center.