New Program Brings the Hope of Employment to Hudson County Residents Impacted by Opiate Use Disorder and their Family Members

Two Non-profits Launch New Partnership

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Landing and keeping a job can be a challenging for anyone, and especially difficult for people in recovery from opiate use disorder. The problem is real in Hudson County, where 41 percent of substance use disorder treatment admissions were attributed to heroin and other opiates in 2019. Many times, their loved ones, consumed with caring for the individual, face similar employment hurdles. Two well-established non-profit organizations are joining forces to help create change for the better.

Prevention Links and the Mental Health Association in New Jersey (MHANJ) are pleased to launch a new partnership to bring a proven-successful supportive employment program to the region. This program, entitled Pathways to Success, helps people impacted by opiate use disorder and their family members find gainful and long-term employment.

Free to eligible Hudson County residents, it is made possible with funding from the New Jersey Department of Labor through a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s the Pathways to Recovery Initiative.

About Pathways to Success in Hudson County

Pathways to Success offers a comprehensive array of free employment services, such as the development of an Individual Employment Plan with personalized, one-on-one guidance throughout the job search and application process, direct links to hiring employers and participant financial assistance and ongoing employment support once employment is attained.

To help increase marketable experience, Pathways offers education and training in a broad range of fields and presents the opportunity to earn credentials that are valued in various industries. Additional elements may include items such as short-term transportation assistance, free interview attire and wellness and recovery strategies.

Pathways to Success participants interested in working in the field of behavioral health may pursue a component of the program called the Power of Peers (POP). The first of its kind in New Jersey, POP features a comprehensive educational and credentialing track that prepares individuals to work in New Jersey as Certified Peer Specialists who helping others in recovery from substance use, mental health, and/or co-occurring disorders. It includes an internship with additional work experience, a practicum, education, supervision and on-the-job training that meets the 500 hours of internship requirement to pursue New Jersey Peer Certification.

Eligibility for Pathways to Success

Hudson County residents aged 18 and older who are unemployed and have been directly or indirectly impacted by opioid use are eligible to participate. A valid driver’s license (or utility bill with address) or photo I.D., social security card and birth certificate are required to enroll.

While the exact name of the program may differ, similar Pathways to Recovery initiatives are also available in New Jersey in Atlantic, Camden, Essex, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, Passaic, and Union Counties

“Research has shown people are more likely to remain in recovery if they believe they can find success in the workplace, which provides a much-needed layer of security and self-respect,” said New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo. “We are excited to partner with Hudson County on the Pathways to Success initiative, which invests in our workforce in recovery.”

“Here in Hudson County we understand that individuals and families affected by opioid use disorder need assistance, support and resources beyond treatment—that assuredly must include both educational and employment resources,” said Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise. “That’s why we are glad to welcome Pathways to Success to Hudson County. I am convinced it will be an effective compliment to the services we offer now to support those in recovery and those who love them. Our thanks to Prevention Links and MHANJ for partnering to bring this valuable free program to Hudson County.”