Appalachia has suffered heavily due to the opioid epidemic. West Virginia and Kentucky rank 1st and 3rd respectively in the nation for overdose deaths. Along with the ruin it brings to families, the region also suffers a dwindling workforce due to people becoming addicted, dying, or blacklisted from job opportunities because of the stigma attached to addiction. Fahe chooses to fight back and make a difference in Appalachia by partnering resources and expertise with that of local stakeholders such as drug recovery experts, local employers, government officials, and community members. Working together, we are making a difference in our communities and in the lives of people facing addiction.
Fahe’s Transformational Employment Program is one such recovery initiative that is partnering local employers with interns who are going through recovery. The program provides a 6 month paid stipend for the employee through Fahe, educational training and support for employers, and other incentives. Upon successful completion of the program, the intern will transition into fulltime employment. Currently the program serves six Kentucky counties: Harlan, Jackson, Knox, Laurel, Pulaski, and Rockcastle.
On Thursday, October 24, Fahe will be hosting Transformational Employment Workshop at the Center for Rural Development in Somerset, KY. Employers will have the opportunity to learn detailed information about our Transformational Employment Internship, gain valuable insight about hiring individuals in drug recovery, and have the opportunity to ask questions as well as express concerns to a panel of experts.
“Southeastern Kentucky has been hit hard by the opioid epidemic. We need to work together to improve our communities. Our Transformational Employment Program is a way for employers to rally around an underserved population and make a BIG difference,” said Jessie Hunt, Financial Project Manager of Fahe.
The internship program has already placed one individual at the Center for Rural Development in Somerset. As employers continue to take advantage of this unique opportunity, a growing number of recovering individuals will be given a chance to change their lives. By tapping into a large pool of potential employees, employers will be able to make a real difference in their community. “By hiring someone who is vested in their recovery, you are attempting to decrease the recidivism rate and the overdose death rate. You are helping someone who truly needs your help,” said Hunt.
No matter how big or small, everyone is able to make a difference. Transformational Employment is eliminating the stigma of hiring individuals in recovery while playing a vital role in long term recovery. By joining the Transformational Employment Program, employers are changing lives and entire communities.
The Transformational Employment program is one of the many ways Fahe is providing a multi-sector collaborative approach to combating the opioid epidemic in Appalachia. By focusing on recovery efforts and increasing the access to essential services for people facing addiction, we are helping to create new and lasting opportunities that support people as they take control of their lives. When the rates of addiction lower and people in recovery return to their communities and employment, they contribute to the elimination of poverty and restoration of hope in Appalachia.
To learn more about how Fahe is utilizing drug recovery programs to help eliminate persistent poverty and uplift our Appalachian communities, visit www.fahe.org/recovery.
To learn more about the Transformational Employment program, or to register for the workshop, please follow the links below: