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Louisville leaders want to help recovering addicts get jobs

Tuesday's meeting will show local businesses the benefits of hiring people who are recovering from opioid addiction.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Two South Louisville organizations are banding together to host an event encouraging local businesses to hire workers who are recovering from opioid addiction. 

The South Louisville Opioid Task Force and the Southwest Dream Team will co-host a four-hour employer symposium on Tuesday, January 29 at the Southwest Regional Library.

With the current unemployment rate in Kentucky at just 4.2%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the competition to find employees is steep, leaving business owners and human resource managers looking for a solution. The Employer Symposium encourages employers to tap into the recovery workforce to recruit qualified and motivated employees.

RELATED: Kentucky reports lower statewide jobless rate in December

"Many businesses already recognize the benefits for everyone involved, but others still aren't quite sure what steps they should take," said Kentucky State Representative Joni Jenkins.

"Having employment makes you feel valued in the community, it keeps you on a good schedule, it gives you hope for the future, and all those things are very important for people in recovery." 

Jenkins co-founded the opioid task force with State Representative McKenzie Cantrell.

"My hope is that the ideas shared at this event will continue the positive work going on across Kentucky to promote a healthy workforce," Cantrell said. 

The Louisville legislators said their task force is proud to partner with the Southwest Dream Team, whose mission is to "lead a united south end and southwest Louisville to take action, raise expectations and unite our community."

RELATED: Over 40 local employers hiring at All Industry Job Fair

The meeting will run from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Southwest Regional Library at 9725 Dixie Highway on Tuesday, January 29. 

Presentations will be made by business leaders who have already succeeded in the field of recovery-oriented employment, including keynote speaker Scott Koloms from Facilities Management Services. 

According to the press release, more than 50 businesses are anticipated to attend. 

"You know, if you're an employer today the possibility that you have someone working with you that is struggling with that disease, very much in secret, is a very, very high possibility," Jenkins said.  "So there is going to be some talk about what you can do to assist that employee that has that disease and what things you can do to help them."

Representatives from any interested Jefferson County employers and the treatment community are invited to attend. Registration is free and can be completed online. 

For more information and to register for this event, click here

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