Bevin Administration’s Work Ready Scholarship Program Being Used by Addiction Recovery Care to Fight Opioid Crisis
Addiction Recovery Care (ARC), a leading inpatient and outpatient treatment in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, filled Ashland’s historic Paramount Arts Center with more than 1,000 clients, families, and employees to celebrate the graduating class of its national-recognized Peer Support Specialist Academy (PSSA) on Wednesday, October 23, 2019. The event also recognized the completion of 10 employees through ARC’s Emerging Leaders program.
Senator Ralph Alvarado, a physician who is Governor Matt Bevin’s running mate was the keynote speaker. Representing Gov. Bevin at the event, Sen. Alvarado expressed the governor’s support for faith-based treatment and recovery centers, such as ARC.
ARC has more than 600 employees (more than half of those employees are in recovery and one-third are former ARC clients) and operates a network of 35 addiction treatment centers in Eastern and Central Kentucky. The organization, headquartered in Louisa, Kentucky, offers a full continuum of care including detox, residential, transitional, intensive outpatient, outpatient, medically assisted treatment (MAT), vocational rehabilitation, and job training, a Christ-centered spiritual emphasis that includes the 12 steps and pastoral care, and a broadening scope of vocational training opportunities for clients. These vocational training programs have led to ARC becoming a national leader in taking clients from addiction to meaningful employment. ARC’s flagship vocational training program, the PSSA, has seen success rates of over 80 percent from its 156 graduates, with success being defined as living in recovery and employed. The PSSA is a six- to nine-month, college equivalent training program designed to teach ARC clients how to help others to recover from substance use disorder.
Building on this success, ARC has partnered with Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC) to incorporate a new Medical Receptionist Program into its Crisis to Career approach. The four-month program allows participants the opportunity to earn a college certificate and up to 15 hours of college credit to use toward an Associate of Applied Science degree. Participants have been able to take advantage of the Work Ready Scholarship to receive their training and education at no cost.
On July 11, 2018, Kentucky Governor Bevin signed an executive order to expand the Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship Program to include students enrolled in certificate, diploma, and associate of applied science degree programs for students furthering their education in five high-demand sectors. Courtney Wohner, a participant in the program, currently has six months in recovery after 10 years in addiction. The scholarship has been life-changing for her in her walk in recovery. She said, “I’m not just excited for the opportunity for me, but for the opportunity for all the women that will participate in this program after me. I also know that second chances aren’t just available, but they are achievable too.”
Tim Robinson, ARC’s founder and chief executive officer, said Governor Bevin’s commitment to address the opioid crisis through the resources of all of state government has been transformational.
“We appreciate the Governor and how his administration has worked across cabinets of state government to attack the opioid crisis head on with a comprehensive approach. While many states are talking about the crisis, Governor Bevin, Congressman Hal Rogers and Congressman Andy Barr are talking about solutions and deploying the resources at the state and federal level to produce results. One of Governor Bevin’s initiatives is the Work Ready Scholarship program that pays the cost of an associate degree in high demand career fields such as healthcare, which includes the addiction treatment field. This scholarship allows those in recovery an opportunity to get the education and job training they need in order to have a career and a future. Governor Bevin is fighting the opioid epidemic not only with increasing access to treatment but offering those in recovery scholarships for the education they need to enter high demand careers.”
ARC believes that the solution to the nation’s workforce issues is lying dormant in the lives of those who are struggling with addiction or alcoholism. Their hope is that through their ongoing commitment to expanding opportunities for those with substance use disorder that individuals’ lives, their families, and the workforce will be restored.
ARC has made a commitment to this not only through its expansive recovery network. It has opened Second Chance Auto, an automobile repair and body shop operated entirely with team members in recovery. They also opened Second Chance Lawn Care, a landscaping business operated by former ARC clients in recovery.
If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, contact an addiction specialist at (606) 638-0938 or use our confidential chat function at www.arccenters.com. ARC’s team members are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Hope and help are just a phone call away.