Department of Drug and Alcohol Highlights Importance of Employment Services to Support Individuals with Substance Use Disorder

Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) Secretary Jen Smith, visited the YWCA of Greater Harrisburg to highlight the importance of employment services for individuals with a substance use disorder (SUD).

“Obtaining and sustaining employment are core fundamentals to an individual’s recovery journey,” said DDAP Secretary Jen Smith. “This employment-focused funding will enable the YWCA of Greater Harrisburg to support individuals before, during, and following treatment to empower their recovery.”

The YWCA of Greater Harrisburg, which serves Dauphin, Cumberland, and Perry counties was recently awarded more than $230,000 in funding to provide employment support services including vocational assessments, resume writing, interviewing skills, job placement, and transportation assistance related to employment.

“We know 1 in 4 families struggle with substance use disorder. At the YWCA, we strive to transform lives and there is a very clear correlation between sustained employment and recovery,” says CEO, Mary Quinn. “Our evidence-based services are designed to create a wrap-around approach that not only focuses on the client but building awareness in the workplace as well.”

The grant is part of $55 million in federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) funding awarded to Pennsylvania through its Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant Program COVID-19 Supplemental Awards. With that SAMHSA funding, DDAP awarded more than $2.9 million to eight organizations across Pennsylvania to provide employment support services for individuals with SUD.

Through the past iteration of this funding, more than 470 individuals were provided employment support services and more than 931 employers were recruited to support and employ individuals in recovery from opioid use disorder.