New Kentucky effort aims to help workers get drug treatment and stay employed

A new program aims to help Kentuckians struggling with drug addiction find and keep jobs.

The effort is called the Kentucky Transformational Jobs Program, or KTEP, and includes several groups of businesses, governments and state health care.

Normally, if an employee tests positive for drugs, they are immediately terminated. Companies participating in KTEP will work to integrate employees struggling with substance abuse into a treatment program, with the goal of eventually returning them to their workplace.

LaKisha Miller is the executive director of the Kentucky Chamber Foundation, one of the groups that are part of the effort.

“Thanks to KTEP, what employers are now able to do is they are able to say ‘hey, let’s go ahead and suspend the employment process at this point,’” Miller said. “We are now in a position to say, ‘We’re going to put you in touch with treatment, I want to be able to help you, and then smooth the process back to work safely. “

The new program is the result of a bill passed by the Kentucky General Assembly in 2020 and enacted by Governor Andy Beshear, designed to create economic opportunities for residents who have substance abuse problems, while also guiding those people to treatment options.

The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy, Kentuciana Health Collaborative, and Kentucky Opioid Response Effort also play roles in the program.

Miller says the KTEP incorporates the idea of ​​“fair employment” —giving those with difficult pasts the chance to get a job.

“Fair employment is not just about opening doors and breaking down barriers for individual Kentuckians. It’s about helping us prosper and prosper as a state. And quite frankly, it’s going to help us be more competitive if we can start tapping into more populations that are on the sidelines and not participating in the workforce. “

Miller points out that Kentucky ranks 48th in the country for labor force participation. The high rate of drug addiction in the state has been a major factor, she says, and the shortage of workers has only worsened since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

More information about the program, including ways in which Kentucky businesses can register to participate in KTEP, is available here.

About Rhonda Lee

Check Also

Kerrville’s morning radio host makes the transition in a very public way

For a transgender person, their journey is usually complicated. Transitioning is a huge step, and …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.