Congressman Donald Norcross

Representing the 1st District of New Jersey
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Norcross, Brat Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Include Job Training in Addiction Recovery Programs

May 8, 2018
News Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Congressmen Donald Norcross (D-NJ) and David Brat (R-VA), members of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, introduced H.R. 5679, the Jobs Plus Recovery Act, which incorporates job training into drug addiction recovery programs.

Specifically, the bipartisan legislation establishes a pilot program to give addicts access to job training services during the recovery process, helping lower the likelihood of relapse and providing a boost for our local economies.

“Addiction is a disease – not a personal choice, and we need to do everything we can to help the hundreds of thousands of Americans struggling,” said Congressman Donald Norcross, Vice-Chair of the Bipartisan Task Force to Combat the Heroin Epidemic. “As our loved ones work hard to recover, we should make sure they have the support they need to hold good-paying jobs and contribute to their communities. By including job training in the recovery process, we are investing in our friends, neighbors, sons and daughters when they need us most, and our economy will be stronger as a result.”

“One of the worst aspects of addiction is the alienation those struggling can feel from their friends, family and even their communities,” said Congressman Dave Brat. “One way many of us connect with our neighbors is through our jobs – we learn to serve our neighbor through running a small business, working to manufacture or sell goods and services, etc. To help Americans struggling with addiction get plugged back into the community, we are working across party lines to help everyone possible to enter or re-enter the workforce. That is a total win-win situation. This bill would help that process.”

About the Jobs Plus Recovery Act

The Jobs Plus Recovery Act would allow programs that are funded through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act – a bill passed in 2014 that provides job training assistance to individuals with a barrier to employment – to provide targeted-support services to individuals with substance-use disorders. It would also consider their needs as part of state and local strategic planning processes to tackle the opioid epidemic. Moreover, the bill allows community workforce programs to educate employers about how to hire and retain employees with a history of substance-use disorders.

The program would be divided between three stages:

  • pre-employment,
  • early employment, and
  • continuing employment.

This pilot program would be the first to integrate job-skills training with addiction treatment and recovery.

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