Jessica Lilly Published

Small Businesses In Southern W.Va. Prepare To Hire People In Substance Use Recovery

Fruits of Labor COH Swag.jpeg

A new program called Communities of Healing is working with Southern West Virginia communities and businesses to connect them with those who are in opioid substance-use disorder recovery.

The demand is high. Between 1999 and 2015 West Virginia’s labor force fell to 3.3 percent for men and 4.2 percent for women because of opioids, according to the American Action Forum (AAF), a center-right think tank.

The Communities of Healing recovery-to-work program is focused on helping employees create a space that’s recovery friendly. The idea is to address the stigma that surrounds hiring people who are in recovery. It’s modeled after a culinary program based in Rainelle called Fruits of Labor. The company has years of experience in working with those in recovery, helping them to attain job skills and confidence for their futures.

Managers or owners from 10 small businesses recently completed four months of training as part of the recovery-to-work program. Organizers say they are looking for 10 more businesses or social enterprises that are interested in participating.

Those involved in the current program include:

· Chris Adams, Appalachian Furnishings, Rockview, WV

· Samantha Phillips, Sage and Lila Company, Beaver, WV

· Maxine Johnson, Appalachian Artistic Adventures, Princeton, WV

· Brittany Massaroni, Armadio Luxury Exchange, Princeton, WV

· Amy Patterson, Sandstone General Store and Eatery, Sandstone, WV

· Yvonne Ortiz, Heavenly Sweet Pastries, Meadow Bridge, WV

· Adam Hodges, MuttonChops, Oak Hill, WV

· Jennifer Gilkerson, Sunset Berry Farm & Produce, Alderson, WV

· Trey Yates, Greenbrier Dairy, Alderson, WV

· James Birt, Housed-Up; Fayetteville, WV

Employers can register for the Communities of Healing recovery-to-work program at the Fruits of Labor Communities of Healing website. Registration is open through July 23.