Emily Rice Published

Seminars Focus On Creating Healthy Workplaces For Employees In Recovery

Drug users in recovery listen to a counselor at a treatment center in Westborough, Mass., in March.

A series of free virtual workshops will teach West Virginia employers to support employees recovering from substance use disorder.

The series is the product of collaboration among employment experts from Marshall University’s Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI) and Marshall Health’s CORE (Creating Opportunities for Recovery Employment).

Ashley Shaw is the director of CORE and brings a decade of experience in workforce development to her position.

Ashley Shaw.jpg

Ashley Shaw is the director of CORE and brings a decade of experience in workforce development to her position.

“The focus of the webinars is to assist employers in improving strategies to recruit and retain employees,” Shaw said. “A part of that also though does include taking a look at some of the populations that are non traditional talent pools that maybe employers haven’t tapped into that might be able to benefit and serve as an asset and can be assets to employers across our region.”

Shaw said the webinar series has multiple components that make it an effective training tool to help employers see individuals as assets to their business.

“The other piece of it is addressing policy of organizations, their education, how they are training their staff,” Shaw said. “How are you ensuring that your culture is well so that not only can you assist folks that you might hire who are in recovery, that employers can take an active role in preventing substance use disorder within the workplace as well?”

A healthy workplace, or “well culture,” as defined by Shaw, focuses on policies that benefit employees and employers.

“Employers should take a look at their organization’s morale, work demands and working conditions. Are we using stigmatizing language? All of those things play a key role in building a ‘well culture’,” Shaw said. “Those are practical things that employers can put in place to better retain the staff that they do have and to better recruit into the workplace.”

The free hour-long sessions will be held Jan. 10, Feb. 14, March 14 and April 11. For more information, see RCBI’s registration form.