SUD disease overdoses and deaths in the United States continues to impact not only the thousands of inflicted individuals, but also their families, their communities and the businesses who employ them. SUD disease is not curable, but is treatable, just like diabetes or other chronic diseases. Recovery facilities and treatment services have been able to go only so far in providing pathways for sustained recovery. Self-help groups, ongoing counseling, MAT, 12-step programs and a myriad of other support groups are also available to help provide assistance for ongoing and sustained recovery.
For many years, gainful employment has proven to be an essential part of many individuals’ sustained SUD recovery. Many of these individuals have maintained their sobriety for years through strict adherence to 12-step abstinence-based programs, MAT programs, counselling programs or any number of combinations therein. Unfortunately, because of the opioid crisis and the media’s tendency to publish only the relapse rates has led to the public’s perception that these efforts are not working. Additionally, the recovery industry has struggled to obtain reliable data to gain the public’s confidence and erode its skepticism. Moreover, most 12-step abstinence-based programs are anonymous and do not gather or publish success or failure rates. MAT is still relatively new within the past several years with a scant history of success or failure rates. Current results are varied and have not yet made significant progress to be accepted by medical or 12-step communities, let alone the general public. The current state of affairs seems to be that no program can provide a “one-size-fits-all” remedy to OUD/SUD disease.
The biggest challenges of SUD employment are:
- Prior to the inception of RetrofitCareers.com, there had been a lack of a centralized, widespread resource for primary and/or extended SUD treatment programs and organizations to include direct access to employment opportunities as an essential part of a well-rounded program for sustained recovery.
- The social stigmas of those with SUD disease and their ability to be a dependable and profitable employees and productive members of society were embedded in the culture to the point that those in long-term recovery have been reluctant to come forward.
- Lack of awareness of our HR/recruitment online job board-resource by employing companies and why they should hire those in recovery for their own increased profitability and overall social responsibility to the community.
- Lack of awareness by those in SUD recovery of the online tool(s) available to access employers who are proactive in considering and hiring those in successful recovery.
RetrofitCareers’ mission is to provide a direct online portal for those in successful SUD recovery with an easy, accessible means to find or change jobs with businesses willing to look at, consider and hire those in successful recovery from this valuable talent pool.
Objective: Increase the awareness, understanding and utility of the practical and social benefits of hiring those in successful SUD recovery through the increased widespread use of RetrofitCareers.com online job board by both the prospective employers and prospective employees.
The challenge is finding those “recovery friendly” businesses and organizations willing to consider and hire those in recovery and finding employees to fill those roles. That’s where RetrofitCareers fits into the equation, providing the tool that populates the supply line of both jobs/employers and employees. RetrofitCareers acts as the central hub to find and match both “Recovery Friendly” employing businesses and candidates in recovery. Bottom line is, it does not do much to offer and spend resources on enhanced employment services and counseling to those with SUD disease if they don’t have a job to go to!
RetrofitCareers.com created the first online job-board (with the likes of CareerBuilder, Monster, Indeed, ZipRecruiter) that is specifically geared to helping those in successful SUD recovery find, or change jobs. Today, people in recovery can seek employment for FREE and businesses can post their jobs for a nominal under-market competitive fee. To date we have been able to have a number of private and public businesses, municipal governments and trade unions post jobs, and put a number of them to work. Our limited resources to date have not allowed us to “get-the-word-out” and amplify these results in a significant way in order for the job board to reach its full potential ithroughout the United States. Overall, the recovery community, or “social industry” if you will, has welcomed our efforts with open support. Organizations like Faces & Voice of Recovery and numerous inpatient/outpatient rehab facilities, harm-reduction service centers, counselling, autonomous recovery organizations and many more groups have embraced and are enthusiastic about our job board and mission .
a. The greater portion of the profits from the job board revenues will be utilized to expand the promotion of RetrofitCareers online job board within Pennsylvania to both potential job-posting business and those with SUD in successful recovery seeking employment. Target messaging will include a combination of B2B (Job-posting businesses) and B2C (candidates in recovery) TV & Radio broadcast advertising, increased social media reach, print collateral, signage, public/corporate relations, web-based workshops/meetings/webinars, on-site meetings when and where possible. Geographic reach is contingent upon the amount of job posting revenues and profits and will expand accordingly expand beyond the immediate Philadelphia ADI into other regions of the Nation.
b. While extended employment services such as resume building, job/interview coaching, reentry/returning citizen, counselling, etc., may eventually be offered directly through RetrofitCareers, our main focus initially is to get people in successful recovery placed in jobs. Pre-employment and intermediary employment services are currently existing and available, offered and are available to potential applicants by many exisiting agencies and support groups many of which are listed under our “Resources” portal on the site.
c. Service & Support to Employers: The B2B effort to date in attracting job-posting companies to utilize our site and consider this valuable talent pool has been ongoing since our inception. “Mining” potential companies, face-to-face interaction, collateral materials, social media are all used to help attract, educate and inform businesses to use our job board to tap into this valuable talent pool. and for the long-term, reap increased profitability and social responsibility by establishing a recovery friendly workplace. A significant portion of revenues are used to increase the efficiencies and overall reach of this effort through ongoing personal meetings, broadcast and print media messaging, and online meetings/webinars. New efforts will advocate and support the introduction and establishment of Peer Based Recovery Support Service Representative programs in the workplace.
Where’s the money go?
A secondary bi-product of our success is a fully self-sustaining business and social benefit operation. Based on job-posting revenues, a percentage of the net-profits generated by the job board, will be directed into programs that will reward those who have maintained their recovery and have become good employees with companies that used our site. Everybody wins! (501c3 nonprofit RetrofitCareers.org application on file and eventual hybrid B-Corp or Benefit Corporation likely formed.