Yesterday, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) visited Goodwill Easter Seals Miami Valley (GESMV) to highlight the work of the Main Street Recovery Center in Dayton as he leads bipartisan legislation to combine federal workforce and job training grants to address the workforce shortages caused by the opioid epidemic. Earlier this year, Brown and Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) secured a provision in a bipartisan Senate package, the Opioid Crisis Response Act, based on his CARE Act. The bipartisan package passed out of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee in April.
“We cannot write off the Ohioans who struggle with addiction and we cannot write off entire communities,” said Brown. “We need to fight this at every level – prevention, treatment, and recovery. And that must include making sure recovering Ohioans have job opportunities to get back on their feet.”
- Brown’s bill, the Collectively Achieving Recovery and Employment (CARE) Act, would combine existing grant programs at the Department of Labor (DOL) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to create a six-year pilot project to combine job training and addiction recovery services.
- Main Street Recovery Center, run by GESMV, has already implemented a similar initiative to help individuals currently in recovery for addiction connect with local employers.
Brown was joined by Terisa, a client who sought treatment at Main Street Recovery Center and is now sober and maintains full time employment, Sue Falter of the University of Dayton Dining Services, which works with GESMV and has helped hire many individuals in recovery and Lance Detrick, President and CEO of GESMV, to talk about the importance of streamlining services to help individuals in recovery find employment.
“Finding and maintaining employment is an important part of recovery for many people suffering from opiate addiction” said Detrick. “The CARE Act will provide important support services for individuals suffering from opiate addiction on their road recovery.”
Brown developed the bill after hearing from mayors across Ohio that employers are having trouble finding workers who can pass drug tests, while Ohioans struggling with addiction can’t find a job to help them get back on their feet. Brown introduced his legislation with Republican Senator Shelly Moore Capito of West Virginia.
Brown and Capito’s bill would allow counties and Tribes to apply for competitive grants directly as long as they have a qualified local workforce organization and nonprofit addiction treatment organization willing to participate. The bill also directs DOL and HHS to establish certain reporting criteria grantees would have to meet.
More information on the CARE Act can be found here.
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