State Farm Neighborhood Assist ® 2018

From Recovery to Workforce Ready

Increased workforce readiness among recovering addicts through education and employment training.

In a region that is quickly emerging as an epicenter of the opioid crisis with overdose rates increasing 800% in recent years, help for recovering addicts in Lee and Collier County is limited. Programs with proven success that offer affordable, long-term recovery options operate at maximum capacity year-round and receive at least 5 times as many applications as there are available beds. Meaningful work in a safe, supportive environment is crucial for relapse prevention among recovering addicts and yet is difficult to find and keep due to a lack of adequate education, marketable skills or job experience coupled with felony charges or criminal histories. In order to maintain a life of sober self-sufficiency, recovering addicts need increased access to educational opportunities, hands-on job training and skills development, and wraparound services like resume building, interview coaching and financial literacy to prepare them for reintegration in the workforce and successful futures.

While the need for addiction recovery services is not entirely unmet in our community, the current resources available are not sufficient to meet the increasing demand. $25,000 could increase and expand existing services that are already working to provide addiction recovery in the community. Funding would support programs and businesses that focus on training and hiring recovering addicts who want to work but face significant barriers to employment. Investing in creating new jobs and expanding educational and employment training opportunities among this population is vital to ensuring long-term success and reducing recidivism rates. Recovering addicts given the opportunity to work while gaining specific skills and hands-on experience in safe, professional environments can learn to be committed, dependable employees as they re-establish themselves as credible candidates with updated resumes in order to secure long-term, stable jobs and successful futures.

By investing in jobs, workforce readiness and educational opportunities, this grant will make a long-term, lasting impact on the community as those served will not only receive a steady paycheck but with it, stability, pride and purpose, a path to self-sufficiency, and hope. Research from the Bureau of Justice indicates a significant reduction in recidivism rates among individuals who complete re-entry programs that offer job training and placement during their transition back into society. Those who experience the training and support their job provides are more likely to find work and remain employed, leading to a 200% increase in income, reduced reliance on government assistance and an increase in stable housing. Ultimately, the entire community benefits when individuals are equipped with the skills and resources needed to find and keep work - taxpayer dollars are saved, cycles of poverty and substance abuse are broken, future generations are impacted, and lives are transformed.