Inside INdiana Business

Employee addiction program goes statewide

Indiana employers help workers battling addiction

INDIANAPOLIS (Inside INdiana Business) — An initiative launched two years ago by the Wellness Council of Indiana and the Indiana Chamber of Commerce is growing.

The chamber says Indiana Workforce Recovery is partnering with mental health and addiction treatment services provider Centerstone to bring an award-winning program statewide.

Centerstone developed the Workforce Investment Program to help employers throughout the country assist employees with substance use issues. The program is now being offered through Indiana Workforce Recovery to give hands-on consultation to Hoosier businesses that want to implement recovery programs.

“We all know that good workers are hard to find and retain. An increasing dilemma has been what to do about quality employees or prospects who test positive on a drug test or alcohol assessment. Or how to help a worker who comes forward on their own, while also protecting the business,” said Mike Thibideau, director of Indiana Workforce Recovery. “Today, more employers are willing to provide that second chance to these workers – they just need guidance to make that happen. That’s why we believe this exclusive partnership with Centerstone is a real game-changer for companies and their workforce — both in helping to turn lives around and to keep the valued employees working.”

The program gives potential or current employees who test positive on their drug screen the option to enter treatment as a condition of maintaining their employment. Centerstone will then develop and implement personalized treatment plans for each employee and keep the employer updated on the employee’s progress.

Centerstone says it helped co-produce a similar program in Richmond, along with Missouri-based Belden (NYSE: BDC), which has been able to retain or hire 34 workers who otherwise would not have been employed there. Centerstone says the project helped enhance the Workforce Investment Program to better help employers.

“Our Workforce Investment Program provides employers with the practical tools and framework they need to help tackle the issues that arise when current or prospective employees face substance use issues,” Robb Backmeyer, chief operating officer at Centerstone, said in a news release. “Through our decades of expertise and thanks to our partnership with Belden, we know that when employers take the time to help their employees, they can onboard and retain good talent and continue to grow.”

The chamber says all businesses that take part in the program will have internal policies and protocols that are in compliance with the state’s new substance use and treatment law.

You can learn more about the program by clicking here.

Indiana Workforce Recovery Director Mike Thibideau will discuss more about the program this weekend on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick.