Giving Those in Recovery a Second Chance

Delaware County's Heroin Task Force announces Second Chance Employment


District Attorney Jack Whelan and Delaware County Councilman Dave White, founders and co-chairs of the Delaware County Heroin Task Force announced a new program aimed at helping those in long term recovery on Sept. 19. Joined by members of the Heroin Task Force, Delaware County's Office of Workforce Development Board, the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce, Educational Data Systems (EDSI) and MVP Recovery Whelan and White detailed the Task Force's new program "Second Chance Employment."

Last month Brian Corson, Executive Director of MVP Recovery met with the District Attorney Jack Whelan and Councilman Dave White to discuss the great need for those in recovery, especially women to find work. MVP Recovery which provides a safe, sober and structured community for those in long-term recovery. Some of the challenges individuals face are having a record due to drugs and/or drug related crimes, having a lapse in employment, a lack of professional references and simply not having the confidence and/or interviewing skills to obtain a job.

In response to that meeting the Delaware County Heroin Task Force and partners including the Office of Workforce Development, EDSI, MVP Recovery and the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce launched a program, known as Second Chance Employment, aimed at helping those in recovery find jobs.

"We understand that a vital piece to helping our residents succeed in long-term recovery is having a job which provides stability and accountability and allows them to reenter the community as responsible and contributing members of society," said Councilman Dave White. "Research shows that when those in recovery don't have jobs they are more likely to fall back into old habits. We need to keep these men and women on the road towards long-term recovery. It's good for them, it's good for our community and it's good for all of society."

The pilot program, which began last week is targeted towards women currently in treatment at MVP Recovery. EDSI, contracted through Delaware County's Office of Workforce Development will go to MVP Recovery and assist the women with resume writing, career counseling and interviewing skills. Having the training on location allows for a safer sober environment and transportation is also a challenge for many of the MVP residents. In addition to career counseling EDSI will assist with employment opportunities, interviews and job placement.

The Delaware County Chamber of Commerce's partnership includes educating its members and the business community about the need and also the benefits of hiring a person in the recovery. The Chamber will meet with the business community and hold presentations to highlight the great need to employ those in long term recovery.

"The opioid epidemic is a community problem and it needs a community solution and the business community has the ability to help," said District Attorney Jack Whelan. "We understand that there may be some hesitation to hire someone with a criminal record or lapse of employment but these are men and women who have worked hard at recovery, they are working the program and they are motivated to get their lives back and become positive and healthy members of their communities. Without a job they are less likely to succeed."

The goals of the program are to help those in recovery:

  • Build confidence and self-esteem through workshops, assessments and skills analysis.

  • Develop an employment portfolio resume, cover letter, thank you letter, applications.

  • Enhance their interview skills and techniques.

  • Provide one to one career coaching.

  • Build a career pathway that demonstrates the steps needed to obtain both short and long term career goals.

  • Connect to employment opportunities that align with their career pathway.

"The opioid epidemic is no longer just an isolated problem for a few. It's affecting everyone. It has touched every single one of us in some way," said White. We need to remove the stigma. We have identified the need for employment and now we are providing those in recovery with the tools they need to obtain a job and we are asking the business community to give them a second chance. A job provides not only financial freedom but it offers hope and the power to succeed at a lifetime of recovery."

The Delaware County Heroin Task Force was created in September 2012 by Delaware County Council and District Attorney Jack Whelan when the Delaware County Medical Examiner first reported an alarming number of heroin related deaths. The Task Force members represent many areas of expertise including law enforcement, the medical community, the court system, schools, religious communities, the business community, community leaders, political leaders and grass roots organizations.

"What makes Delaware County's Heroin Task Force successful is our proactive approach and our strong partnerships across the county including grass roots organizations, such as MVP Recovery who are able to relay to us first-hand what is needed to win this was against the opioid crisis," said Whelan.

Businesses interested in learning more about Second Chance Employment can contact EDSI staff member Laura Zales: 610-876-4855.




Delco Heroin Task Force announces Second Chance Employment

Delaware County Councilman Dave White and District Attorney Jack Whelan, founders and co-chairs of the Delaware County Heroin Task Force announced a new program aimed at helping those in long term recovery on Sept. 19 at EDSI in Chester. The Delaware County Heroin Task Force and partners including the Delaware County Office of Workforce Development, EDSI, MVP Recovery and the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce launched a program, known as Second Chance Employment, aimed at helping those in recovery find jobs. The pilot program is targeted towards women currently in treatment at MVP Recovery with hopes to expand. More details on the program and information for businesses interested in hiring can be found on the county's website: http://www.co.delaware.pa.us/.