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April 10, 2018

Senators Jones, Kaine, and Young Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Integrate Job Training Into Addiction Recovery Programs

The Jobs Plus Recovery Act ensures that addiction recovery programs provide pathways for workforce development, economic stability

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Doug Jones (D-Ala.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), and Todd Young (R-Ind.), members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, introduced the Jobs Plus Recovery Act. The bipartisan bill establishes a pilot program to provide individuals impacted by opioid addiction or substance use disorders access to career training and support services as part of their recovery and to help prevent their likelihood of relapse.

“Across the country and in Alabama, the opioid epidemic has devastated so many families, communities, and local economies. When folks are working hard to recover from opioid addiction, we should make sure they have the support they need to be successful and re-enter their communities fully. Through this job-training initiative, we are taking steps to help them thrive in recovery and break the dangerous cycle of addiction,” Senator Jones said.

Research has shown that having consistent work improves the likelihood that addiction treatment will be successful. This pilot program allows local communities to create partnerships between substance use disorder treatment and recovery providers, as well as job services and training providers. The legislation will help communities in Alabama and across the country where the opioid crisis has had severe consequences on the economy and local workforce.

“The substance abuse epidemic has had a devastating effect on communities across the country, and a lack of job opportunity has exacerbated this crisis,” Senator Kaine said. “We must find a way to address this crisis and to help those who are trying to get back on their feet, stay there. By ensuring that job training is a part of the recovery process, we are investing in better outcomes, which will have a positive impact on the economy, employers, and entire communities.”

“During one of my recent Fair Shot Agenda roundtables, I heard from an Indiana plastics manufacturing firm that took a chance by hiring a Hoosier who had struggled with addiction issues. This week, that same Hoosier is graduating from drug treatment court and serves as a valuable employee. With the Jobs Plus Recovery Act, we can replicate this success story across Indiana and the entire country. This legislation would create pilot programs that help individuals struggling with opioid addition access employment opportunities. Our goal is to give businesses the tools needed to positively impact addiction treatment outcomes, and to change how the nation treats individuals with addiction issues so that they can turn their lives around and meaningfully contribute to the economy,” said Senator Young.

The Jobs Plus Recovery Act is endorsed by the Association of Career and Technical Education (ACTE), Jobs for the Future (JFF), the National Skills Coalition (NSC), and the National Association of Workforce Boards (NAWB).

Text of the Jobs Plus Recovery Act is available here

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