In Erasing the Stigma of Addiction, One Job at a Time we told you about two businesses -- Denver's Forged Modern and Lexington's DV8 Kitchen -- that eagerly employ people in addiction recovery. Now we'd like to tell you about the Recovery Friendly Workplace Initiative, which promises to fully transform how employers see (and hire) people who are battling addiction.
The Recovery Friendly Workplace Initiative was announced by New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu in January of this year. And while the program officially launched in March, it was only recently that the Granite State got to start feeling its impact. Why? Well, pushback among the New Hampshire state legislature, for one, which denied tax breaks to potential recovery friendly workplaces. That didn't stop the governor though, who sees the initiative will benefit everyone.
"There’s a lot of money to be made for the fiscal conservatives out there," Sununu told the Concord Monitor. "If you’re purely about profit, this is the program for you. If you’re about doing something to help a state that is in a major crisis, this is the program for you. And if you’re an employee looking to get back into the workplace, this is also the program for you."
In fact, continued the governor, "that’s why I have full confidence [the Recovery Friendly Workplace Initiative] won’t just be successful here in New Hampshire, but it really does and will have the wings to go national."
The good governor was right. Rhode Island is already on board with their version of New Hampshire's program. And Pennsylvania has $5 million to fund a program of its own. Washington, Maryland and Alaska are also receiving portions of the more than $22 million in U.S. Department of Labor National Health Emergency (NHE) Dislocated Worker Demonstration Grant funding.
If the list of New Hampshire's early-adaptor businesses is any indication, the initiative will soon be benefiting the rest of America as well.
New Hampshire's Recovery Friendly Workplace Initiative (A Partial List)
- Granite United Way
- Harvard Pilgrim HealthCare
- New Hampshire Hospital Association
- Easter Seals New Hampshire
- Goodwin Community Trust
"The Recovery Friendly Workplace Initiative gives business owners the resources and support they need to foster a supportive environment that encourages the success of their employees in recovery," says NH's Recovery Friendly Workplace website.
Furthermore, "RFW's encourage a healthy and safe environment where employers, employees, and communities can collaborate to create positive change and eliminate barriers for those impacted by addiction." The Initiative will provide Recovery Friendly Advisors (RFA's), free of charge, in order to support interested companies. The RFA's, in turn, will develop an individualized plan for each business. The advisors will also provide information and resources to promote health, well-being, and recovery for themselves and their family members.
People in recovery are not only employees, reminds the site, they're customers as well. In the Granite State's case, that adds up to over 60,000.
Recovery Boot Camp applauds Governor Sununu and his state's Recovery Friendly Workplace Initiative. We'd also like to applaud Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo for getting her state in on the recovery friendly action. We're especially eager to see the recovery friendly workplace efforts of PA Governor Tom Wolf, WA Governor Jay Inslee, MD Governor Larry Hogan and Alaska Governor Bill Walker. We're even more eager to see recovery friendly workplace initiatives spread throughout the country. Delray Beach is home to many recovery friendly workplaces (including of course, RBC). Consequently we know first-hand the vital impact of such efforts. It's time for all of America to recognize the vitality of those efforts too.