Building on Pennsylvania’s commitment to combatting the state’s growing heroin epidemic, Senator Wayne Langerholc Jr. (R-35) will be introducing legislation that will establish a pilot program to help individuals in recovery obtain meaningful employment opportunities.
Langerholc’s legislation will create the “Recovery to Work Pilot Program” to connect individuals in recovery with high-priority occupations through local workforce development boards.
“An important, yet often overlooked, side effect of this epidemic is the vicious cycle that many individuals with a history of substance abuse fall into when trying to find and maintain steady employment,” Langerholc said.
“Meaningful employment is essential to an individual’s long-term recovery. It provides a renewed sense of purpose and helps those in recovery support themselves and their families.”
Langerholc said the pilot program will be spearheaded by the Department of Labor and Industry with the assistance of the departments of Health, Community and Economic Development and Drug and Alcohol Programs, as well as the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.
These departments will develop a plan for the local workforce development boards to work with the treatment and recovery community as well as local employers and training providers to offer job training and employment opportunities to individuals in recovery.
“Since the local workforce development boards will be leading the implementation of the pilot program, the strategies will be locally focused to meet the needs of area employers and the local treatment and recovery community,” Langerholc said.
“Additionally, the legislation will provide incentives for businesses and training providers to participate in the program so that we can reach more individuals in need.”
Langerholc added that Pennsylvania is heading in the right direction with its continued attention to this serious epidemic, including the governor’s recent declaration of the crisis as a public health emergency.
“This move will help the state better focus response efforts and get help to those in need,” Langerholc said. “According to the Centers for Disease Control, Pennsylvania has one of the worst overdose rates in the country.
“This epidemic has reached crisis proportions and requires us to focus our resources. My legislation is one more effort to provide those in recovery with the tools they need to succeed.”