(Brown talks with Life Revitalization Center CEO Dan Rogers and Denise Johnson, who secured employment after graduation from Life Revitalization Center)
TOLEDO, OH. – Today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) visited the Life Revitalization Center in Toledo as he leads bipartisan legislation to combine federal workforce and job training grants to address the workforce shortages caused by the addiction epidemic.
Earlier this year, Brown and Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) secured a provision in a bipartisan Senate package, the Opioid Crisis Response Act, based on his CARE Act. The bipartisan package passed out of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee in April.
“I hear the same thing from Mayors all across Ohio: employers can’t fill openings because workers can’t pass drug tests, and Ohioans struggling with addiction can’t find a job to help them get back on their feet. We know addiction treatment and workforce training programs can be successful separately, but this crisis requires them to work together,” said Brown.
- Brown’s bill, the Collectively Achieving Recovery and Employment (CARE) Act, would combine existing grant programs at the Department of Labor (DOL) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to create a six-year pilot project to combine job training and addiction recovery services.
- The Life Revitalization Center has already implemented a similar model by working with A Renewed Mind to help individuals in their job training programs connect with addiction recovery services if they need it.
Brown was joined by Dan Rogers, CEO of the Life Revitalization Center, Matt Rizzo, CEO of A Renewed Mind, and Denise Johnson, who secured employment after graduating from the Life Revitalization Center.
“Recovery, with addiction and mental health treatment at its core, is a key component to the success of workforce development. Healthcare costs related to opiate addiction have skyrocketed. Private health insurance claims alone related to opioid dependence soared by 3,204 % from 2007 to 2014. Employers have been hit twice consequently with a shrinking workforce and annual healthcare premium increases that are not sustainable. Senator’s Brown’s CARE Act will make a positive impact on addressing these issues,” said Matt Rizzo.
Brown developed the bill after hearing from mayors across Ohio that employers are having trouble finding workers who can pass drug tests, while Ohioans struggling with addiction can’t find a job to help them get back on their feet.
Brown and Capito’s bill would allow counties and Tribes to apply for competitive grants directly as long as they have a qualified local workforce organization and nonprofit addiction treatment organization willing to participate. The bill also directs DOL and HHS to establish certain reporting criteria grantees would have to meet.
More information on the CARE Act can be found here.