Mobilizing Employer Engagement

“A recovery-to-work ecosystem cannot succeed without the active engagement of the employer community. Employment is not only an outcome of recovery, but it is also a contributor to long-term, successful recovery.1 In Appalachia, the issue of engaging employers in recovery-to-work hiring takes on added importance due to critical workforce shortages throughout the region.” — Addressing Appalachia’s Substance Use Disorder Crisis Through Recovery-to-Work 

Now you have a champions team to help guide an ecosystem, it’s time to gauge employer interest and needs.

For individuals battling addiction, gainful employment is often paramount to successful recovery.  Wraparound services like housing and transportation are also critical to long-term recovery, but employers will dictate early steps that need to be taken to adequately train and prepare individuals in recovery for sustainable employment options.

Build a Targeted List of Employers With the guidance of the employer champion(s), build a list of employers for initial outreach.

Activity: How to use regional data to identify employers

Activity: Work with community partners to identify businesses

Community spotlight : Presentation to local SHRM chapter (Ohio Valley Regional Development Commission example)

Conduct Outreach to Employers

Using the list developed in step one, start to personally reach out to employers. Initial email messages should clearly communicate goals and purpose of recovery to work initiative.

Activity: Email template

Activity: Survey examples

Resource: Agenda for hosting business roundtable

Community spotlights/case study: TBD

Connect Employers to the Right Resources and Programs Help employers access the right resources, programs, and tools to support their employers. There are many tools available, but they can be hard to access or navigate. Here are some shortcuts:

Resource: Guide to Employer Toolkits

Resource: SUD education/ Reducing stigma

Resource: Tax credit incentives

Resource: Fact sheet on barriers to employment

Resource: Fact sheets harm reduction techniques

Resource: “recovery ready workplace” certification

Resource: Narcan training

Community spotlight: Peer support models (success coaches, ERN)

Community spotlight: Referral process to service providers for those who fail drug test

Case Study: TBD

After completing phase 3, you should have the following outcomes: