CPWDC Receives Grant Increasing Access to Treatment and Career Coaching Opportunities

November 12, 2020

$1 million Grant Increases Access to Treatment and Career Coaching Opportunities for Individuals in Recovery

Lewisburg, November 12, 2020— Central PA Workforce Development Corporation (CPWDC), in partnership with Geisinger and SEDA-Council of Governments (SEDA-COG) received $ 1,018,500 from the Appalachian Regional Commission to create an ecosystem that increases career opportunities and access to addiction treatment services through a cross-partner referral and treatment program.

The Reboot Workforce Program: Recovery at Work in Central Pennsylvania will diversify and strengthen coal impacted economies in Centre, Clinton, Columbia, Juniata, Lycoming, Mifflin, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder and Union counties.

This partnership creates a direct referral and support team for individuals affected by opioids in Central Pennsylvania allowing Geisinger’s patients who are ready to enter the workforce to be directly referred to the PA CareerLink® Reboot Workforce Program where they will receive one-on-one career coaching, training, connections to housing and other support services, and ultimately placed in employment with businesses that are recovery friendly. “The intentionality that comes from this new referral partnership sets this program apart from any opioid projects we’ve done in the past, because Geisinger will be using their evaluation tools to help determine when a person has shown stability in their sobriety and is ready to enter the workforce prior to making the referral,” says Erica Mulberger CPWDC’s executive director. “Individuals can still self-identify as being affected by opioids and enroll in the Reboot Workforce Program at the PA CareerLink® and referrals will be accepted from any local treatment provider. This partnership adds an additional benefit because the PA CareerLink® staff can make referrals back to Geisinger’s treatment services if necessary,” says Mulberger.

Also, through this grant, Geisinger Health will expand their addiction treatment services to Centre, Mifflin, and Juniata counties utilizing new telemedicine equipment in primary care facilities. This will allow individuals in these underserved communities to access high-quality services from an Addiction Specialist Physician close to home. With this increased capacity, an estimated 250 new patients will be helped during the grant period. “We believe this telemedicine model is replicable in other regions with limited local access to addiction treatment services,” says Jordan Barbour, Geisinger’s operations director for addiction medicine. “Furthermore, we believe the purposeful link between treatment and workforce training will generate innumerable benefits for patients, employers and our communities as a whole.”

Another component of the project is to identify employers that are “recovery friendly” and assist other businesses to become recovery friendly to increase their pool of workforce talent. To accomplish this, SEDA-COG and the PA CareerLink® Business Service Teams will work with their extensive business service provider network to power this initiative through education and information. They also will assist companies to review their current personnel policies and practices that may be prohibitive to individuals in recovery.

Betsy Lockwood, SEDA-COG grants manager, described the void the initiative fills. “Removing barriers to recovery has been a longstanding issue for people, and workforce issues have plagued businesses. Employers need staff and people need jobs, especially with the effects of the pandemic. By expanding the workforce toward those in recovery, we fill a valuable workforce need while providing someone in recovery a job that can help them remain in recovery,” Lockwood said.

To learn more about the Reboot Workforce Program, contact your local PA CareerLink®. Contact information can be found at www.cpwdc.org/pa-careerlink/locations/. Also, see the REBOOT Referral Flyer that can be shared openly.

To learn more about Geisinger’s Addiction Treatment services visit www.geisinger.org/patient-care/conditions-treatments-specialty/addiction-treatment.

Funding for this award was made via the Appalachian Regional Commission’s (ARC) POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) Initiative to help communities and regions affected by job losses in coal mining, coal power plant operations, and coal-related supply chain industries due to the changing economics of America’s energy production. Additional support for the Reboot Workforce program is provided by CPWDC through a USDOL National Health Emergency Dislocated Worker Grant and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), SEDA-COG, and Geisinger.

“I congratulate CPWDC, Geisinger, and SEDA-COG for their POWER award, and commend them on the leadership they have shown in their community,” said ARC Federal Co-Chairman Tim Thomas. “POWER grants are playing a critical role in supporting coal-impacted communities in the Appalachian Region as they recover from COVID-19 by building and expanding critical infrastructure and creating new economic opportunities through innovative and transformative approaches. Projects like this are getting Appalachia back to work.”

About Central Pennsylvania Workforce Development Corporation (CPWDC)
CPWDC serves as the local Workforce Development Board (WDB) for Centre, Clinton, Columbia, Lycoming, Mifflin, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder and Union Counties. CPWDC, incorporated in 1999, is responsible for coordinating and developing Central Pennsylvania’s workforce system. CPWDC is one of 22 local WDBs across the Commonwealth.

About the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC)
The Appalachian Regional Commission (www.arc.gov) is an economic development partnership agency of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 420 counties across the Appalachian Region. ARC’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia.

Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities. Equal Opportunity Employer

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