CareerSource of Central Florida partners with local businesses offering workforce solutions to help individuals during opioid recovery

From Central Florida Quarry Source

CareerSource Central Florida (CSCF), the second largest regional workforce council in Florida, announces that it has partnered with local businesses to provide workforce solutions for HR professionals and employers to help support and integrate people recovering from opioid addiction into the local workforce.

The opioid epidemic has been fueled by COVID-19. According to some of the latest research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 105,000 Americans died of overdoses in the 12 months ending October 2021 – the highest number of overdose deaths ever recorded in 12 month.

In 2020, CareerSource Central Florida received $2.7 million from the State of Florida to raise awareness of the opioid crisis and provide crucial corporate training to help job seekers and workers impacted by opioid addiction . Using grant funds, CareerSource Central Florida launched “Fostering Opioid Recovery through Training & Employment” (FORTE) with Project Opioid – a four-year initiative that has to date impacted more than 900 Central Florida businesses and individuals .

Today, CareerSource Central Florida along with Project Opioid, International Center for Addiction Education and Recovery (ICARE), Advanced Recovery Systems (ARS), Greater Orlando Society of Human Resources Management (GOSHRM), and others are working seamlessly to provide training, certifications and educational offerings to local employers. These efforts equip HR professionals with the skills and tools to support current employees and potential new applicants impacted by opioid addiction through their recovery journey back to work.

“The beauty of this program is that we bring together business owners, human resource managers and businesses from a five-county region to help support and create a successful career path for these residents, and they meet excitedly on the call,” said CareerSource Central Florida President and CEO Pamela Nabors. “Partnering with a range of incredible subject matter experts, together we create new training solutions that encourage safe workplace dialogue about substance abuse, and also provide much-needed support for these job seekers to re-enter the labor market and lead a successful and productive life.

Some of the educational tools and training available for HR professionals and businesses include:

  • Free 20-hour training with live instructor-led virtual meetings (tuition paid through CareerSource Central Florida grant dollars)
  • Possibility of obtaining SHRM recertification credits under risk management, free with certain levels of participation
  • Earn a Certified Addiction Awareness Facilitator – HR Title (CFAA-RH) developed by ICARE
  • Community Education Webinar Series on Responding to Mental Health and Addictions Issues
  • Full access to Advanced Recovery Systems University, an on-demand library and learning database
  • Access to the Advanced Recovery Systems Wellness app, Nobu, which connects users to a suite of free mental health support tools and access to individual mental health counseling

Upcoming training opportunities include:

  • HR training – opening in August for a start in mid-September
  • Community training with the ARS – August 9eSeptember 6eand September 20e

The impact of the FORTE program is significant and has changed many lives. Among those who have benefited from FORTE is Akil Meade, a local resident who is on the road to recovery. Through FORTE at CareerSource Central Florida, Akil was able to secure employment with Recovery Connections of Central Florida and is receiving “on-the-job training” to support those in need of counseling during their substance recovery journey. In her role, Akil is able to use her personal experience to help people recover and motivate them in the job market.

“It’s a blessing to have a job where I can help people through my personal experience, promoting and encouraging addiction recovery,” said Akil Meade, who is in recovery and from the FORTE program with CareerSource. Central Florida. “It’s the best job I’ve ever had, it feels great, and it’s the first time I feel able to support my kids and be successful here in Florida.”

For more information on how businesses can engage and benefit from FORTE, please visit https://www.careersourcecentralflorida.com/forte/.


CareerSource Central Florida is Florida’s second-largest state and federally funded regional labor council with an annual operating budget of approximately $45 million. The CSCF provides comprehensive services to connect job seekers and local businesses free of charge. Services include talent screening and hiring; employee training and education; paid internships and free job training and education programs. In fiscal year 2021-2022, the CSCF served more than 39,500 job seekers and 3,500 businesses. The organization has placed more than 5,600 people in jobs and helped advance the skills of more than 2,500 job seekers in Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Lake and Sumter counties. For more information, visit
www.CareerSourceCentralFlorida.com.

The International Center for Addiction Education and Recovery is a center of excellence for bringing people and processes together to overcome the unprecedented societal challenges of addiction. The culmination of over 25 years of work in the recovery and addiction field, ICARE is deeply rooted in the principles of resilience and emotional sobriety. ICARE is committed to raising awareness of substance abuse in our culture and helping individuals live their best lives, free from problematic behaviors or past stigma. For more information, visit http://www.ICARE-Aware.org.

The Greater Orlando Society for Human Resource Management is a local branch of Human Resource Management Company, the world’s largest HR organization, serving Orlando, Florida and surrounding counties. GOSHRM’s mission is: to uplift people and workplaces through education, connection and service. Founded in 1957 as the Central Florida Human Resources Association (CFHRA), GOSHRM also supports the professional development needs of more than 550 individual members and the businesses they serve.

Advanced recovery systems is an integrated behavioral health care management company dedicated to the treatment of substance abuse, substance abuse and mental health issues. The ARS network of treatment centers includes The Recovery Village Umatilla (Umatilla, Florida), The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake (Palmer Lake, Colorado), The Recovery Village Ridgefield (Ridgefield, Washington), The Recovery Village Columbus (Groveport, Ohio) , Orlando Recovery Center (Orlando, Florida), The Recovery Village at Baptist Health (Lake Worth, Florida and Miami, Florida), The Recovery Village Cherry Hill at Cooper (Cherry Hill, New Jersey), Next Generation Village (Sebring, Florida) and The IAFF Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health Treatment and Recovery (Upper Marlboro, Maryland). For more information, visitwww.AdvancedRecoverySystems.com.

Launched in 2018, Opioid Project is a non-profit partnership operating in the largest areas of Florida (Jacksonville, Central Florida, Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade and Tampa) dedicated to utilizing a community collaboration model that connects chefs religious, business and philanthropic to government, criminal justice, healthcare, education and frontline service providers to help save lives. The Opioid Project is committed to providing cutting-edge research, presenting and implementing national “best practice” community-response models – including widespread access to naloxone for families and military forces. order – and to develop community education and advocacy initiatives. The Opioid Project recently expanded to communities in Santa Barbara and Los Angeles, California, and continues to expand across America this year.

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