Lift Up Project

Employers all across the country are clamoring for more workers. Yet because of stigma or other prejudices they often overlook one of the most eager segments of the unemployed. The Lift Up Project aims to change all that.

That's right. There's something afoot which will address that vast number of people who are seeking meaningful work. We're talkin' about good people. Eager people. Talented people. Sure, some may have a strike against them. Others may be coming off some kind of setback. Yet that in no way dampens their drive. If anything, it often causes even more get-up-and-go-go. Unfortunately too many employers refuse to recognize that fact. And those that do are having trouble connecting with that workforce.

Well, St. Elizabeth Healthcare has come up with a great way to address the issue. And Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is giving them nearly $2.4 million to put that great way to work. It's called The Lift Up Project. And it's set to connect people who are suffering from substance use disorder with career-building resources across Northern Kentucky.

Here's how the PR Newswire press release sums it up:

The five-year grant helps individuals find the healing they desire, the hope they need and a promising, self-sustaining future through rehabilitation, education, training and employment opportunities.

It sounds, well, positively uplifting!

The Lift Up Project: The Who & the Why

The Lift Up Project is being led by St. Elizabeth Healthcare and St. Elizabeth Physicians Journey Recovery Center. Also on the team are the Northern Kentucky Workforce Investment Board (NKWIB), Life Learning Center and Brighton Center, which operates the Kentucky Career Center.

"Everyone deserves a fair chance, and at St. Elizabeth, we want to help ensure that every person in our region has access to the care they need and the resources to help them on their journey to a healthier lifestyle," said Dan Cole, Assistant Vice President of Operations at St. Elizabeth Physicians. "The receipt of this grant means that we can continue working alongside our community partners to further provide life-saving and life-sustaining opportunities in the communities we serve."

 Tara Johnson-Noem, Director of the Northern Kentucky Workforce Investment Board, chimes in.

"We know that many employers today are seeking talent," she said. "It's critical that we help every member of our community to reach their full potential for their own success and for the overall economic development of our region. The Lift Up Project supports alignment of resources for individuals in recovery and local businesses willing to be transformational employers. Both the NKWIB and the Kentucky Career Center–NKY that we oversee are proud to be a part of this work."

And well that they should be. Getting work for folks who need, want and deserve work is itself pride-worthy work. It's also essential toward building and rebuilding strong communities. We probably need not add how much it will help folks with their recovery.

Come to think of it, there's probably not a member of that esteemed Lift Up Project team who doesn't know just how much a job helps someone make it through early recovery. The importance of having a place to go each day; a place where they're both needed and wanted. And especially, the kind of a place where they are once again able to become meaningful contributors to society.

Meet the Team

The Journey Recovery Center most certainly knows all about it. The Center provides individualized treatment with licensed medical professionals who are well known for best practices in disease management, including withdrawal. It also fields licensed therapists in order to address myriad psychological and emotional needs. Plus there are case managers and peer support specialists on hand to help individuals navigate their journey, as well as to help locate community recovery support resources.

You can be sure the Life Learning Center also well knows the impact employment opportunities can have on a person's recovery. In fact, that's basically just what they're set up to handle. The LLC "assesses participants' strengths and then provides training to increase their readiness for the workplace" reads the release. "This includes building necessary communication skills and addressing personal issues including financial, housing, identity, legal or other issues that may impede the pathway to employment and independence."

As for Brighton Center, well, they provide an entire Community of Support. To begin with, BC operates the Northern Kentucky Career Center. The Brighton site says the Career Center is "the area’s leading workforce development network, specializing in connecting employers with qualified workforce talent and job seekers with career opportunities." The release adds that it'll be assisting job seekers by assessing their skills and then connecting individuals to employment and educational opportunities via the extensive partnership network it's set up across eight Northern Kentucky counties. So yeah, we're talking serious job generating here.

That's where the Northern Kentucky Workforce Investment Board comes in. The high-impact NKWIB (emphasis theirs) "drives policy, direction, and funding oversight for the local workforce investment system," says their About Page. In other words, the NKWIB both funds and oversees the entire local Kentucky Career Center network. It is they who receive the federal workforce funds. And it is they who ensure said funds get into the best hands.

Furthermore, "the NKWIB convenes partners and employers, leveraging resources and technical assistance to meet businesses' needs while supporting the dignity of its clients." 

Got it? Good.

In Praise of The Lift Up Project

Recovery Boot Camp and our affiliated Healing Properties wholeheartedly salute the great good folks at St. Elizabeth Healthcare and St. Elizabeth Physicians, as well as the rest of the esteemed team behind The Lift Up Project. It's an incredible way to meet the needs of the region, as well to re-instill some much-deserved pride into the community. We also salue SAMHSA for having the foresight and wherewithal to back this bright and promising idea. A job can make or break someone's recovery; it's most heartening to see Northern Kentuckians will now have an even better chance at making it.

How about you? Could you use some help? SAMHSA has an addiction treatment hotline. RBC and HP will also gladly lend a hand. And if you're a Northern Kentucky resident who's interested in participating in the Lift Up Project, all you've got to do is ring the Journey Recovery Center.

(Above Image by Shari Jo from Pixabay)

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