New initiative to match Rhode Islanders in recovery with jobs

GOV. GINA M. RAIMONDO announced Wednesday a plan to help Rhode Islanders in recovery land jobs and skills training opportunities through a $4 million, federally-funded initiative. Rhode Island College President Frank D. Sanchez, left, will co-chair an ad-hoc committee to generate guidelines which local businesses can follow to be known as
GOV. GINA M. RAIMONDO announced a plan to help Rhode Islanders in recovery land jobs and skills training opportunities through a $4 million, federally-funded initiative. Rhode Island College President Frank D. Sanchez, left, will co-chair an ad-hoc committee to generate guidelines which local businesses can follow to be known as "recovery friendly." / COURTESY RHODE ISLAND COLLEGE

PROVIDENCE – In an effort to reach Rhode Islanders in recovery and match them with open jobs and skills training opportunities, on Wednesday, Gov. Gina M. Raimondo announced a new Recovery-Friendly Workplace Initiative funded by a $4 million federal labor grant.

“A good job is essential to … recovery,” said Raimondo in a statement. “People who make a daily commitment to their recovery can make enormous contributions to our economy, and we need to encourage more employers to create recovery-friendly workplaces.”

Included in the initiative is an ad-hoc committee to help develop guidelines for branding local businesses as “recovery-friendly.” The committee will be co-chaired by Rhode Island College President Frank Sanchez and Electric Boat’s Medical Director Dr. Susan Andrews.

Recognizing the signs of substance abuse, reviewing resources available in employer insurance plans and coaching employees on how to aid those dealing with substance abuse issues are some examples of possible guidelines geared to Rhode Island businesses which will be discussed by the committee.

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“Rhode Island College has been committed to supporting individuals who have substance abuse disorders for a long time,” specifically through the school’s social work and counseling programs as well as its involvement with Real Jobs Rhode Island, said Sanchez in a statement.

The Recovery-Friendly Workplace Initiative will also include counseling services for employers on identifying individuals in recovery and best practices on creating and maintaining supportive work environments for such individuals.

The announcement was made at the Providence netWORKri Center, a job center and professional skills training facility.

Emily Gowdey-Backus is a staff writer for PBN. You can follow her on Twitter @FlashGowdey or contact her via email, gowdey-backus@pbn.com.