What is a recovery-friendly workplace?
A Recovery Friendly Workplace (RFW) is a business or organization that chooses to go above and beyond in supporting individuals looking for employment by creating a workplace culture that supports people in active recovery.
An RFW demonstrates a commitment to reducing the stigma often associated with substance abuse and mental disorders faced by employees, customers, and communities.
What is the benefit of becoming an RFW?
Substance abuse costs the average employer $180,000 annually. With over 850,000 Pennsylvanians currently living in recovery, by considering hiring an individual in recovery you not only give them purpose but also contribute to a healthier bottom line for your company.
Below are just a few of the many benefits that workplaces experience when implementing evidence-based health and wellness policies:
- Improve employee retention and satisfaction
- Increase attendance and productivity
- Create community connection
- Improve health and wellness
How do you become an RFW?
To help employers that are interested in becoming proactive community partners, and building healthier, more productive workforces, PA CareerLink® has partnered with the Pennsylvania Recovery Organizations Alliance.
If you would like to learn more about becoming an RFW reach out to PRO-A Recovery Employment Coordinator, Joe Veach, at Joseph@pro-a.org. You can also provide your insights and perspective on RFWs by taking this short, confidential survey that will help PRO-A as they develop a new program designed to give businesses the tools they need to support employees with substance use issues.
To learn more about PRO-A and the benefits of becoming an RFW, read a first-hand account of Joe’s experience with recovery and his work with PRO-A below.
Read Joe’s Story to Hear a First-Hand Account of How RWF’s Change Lives
“I am thankful to be alive today. My name is Joe, and I am a person in long-term recovery. What that means to me is that I have not used a mind-altering or mood-changing substance in over five years. I have survived working in “substance-use-friendly” workplaces. I survived long enough to overcome the fear of the unknown and seek help for what I have come to know as a substance use disorder.
Today, as a Recovery Employment Coordinator for Pro-A, I have the opportunity to build relationships with businesses and help find gainful employment for individuals seeking career opportunities, who also happen to be recovering from substance use and co-occurring disorders.
What is recovery? One definition is a return to a normal state of health, mind, or strength. I have come to believe that “normal” is just a cycle on a washing machine, however, recovery is a process, a lifestyle, a path to wellness and wholeness. I believe part of recovery from a substance use disorder is striving to become an employable member of society. When living with an untreated substance use disorder, many people, including my former self, are takers. Through recovery, we have the chance to give back; one aspect of that is by contributing to our community by working and paying taxes.”
Pro-A strives to find employers who are an ally to those in recovery. According to RecoveryFriendlyPA.org, benefits to becoming an RFW can include:
- Healthier and more satisfied employees
- Increased retention and productivity
- Increased safety
- Decreased healthcare costs
- Reduced absenteeism
For more information on Pro-A, please go to www.pro-a.org , and for more detailed information on what we at Pro-A are doing to find recovery-friendly workplaces and help recovering Pennsylvanians find gainful employment, please click here.
Best Regards,Joe Veach, CRS, Recovery Employment Coordinator for Pro-A