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Caring Workplaces Receives $924,000 Grant

The First Tennessee Development District's Caring Workplaces initiative has been awarded approximately $924,000 to enhance and expand the impact of this vital employer support program. 

Caring Workplaces is committed to overcoming stigma and creating a work culture focused on caring through “connection, compassion, and community”. The program focuses on creating a healthy and safe environment where employers, employees, and communities can collaborate to create positive change and eliminate barriers for those impacted by substance use and incarceration.

The additional funds will be used to continue Ballad Health’s peer support wraparound services for clients, including housing support. In partnership with Recovery Resources, housing funds will be made available to support the cost of recovery housing while clients establish themselves in a job or during training offered by the Tennessee College of Applied Technology in Elizabethton. While Caring Workplaces continues to help clients obtain gainful employment and assist employers in finding a vibrant, supported workforce, these funds also allow education and training as an option before employment. Other partnerships include Uplift Appalachia, which will help address transportation barriers related to employment, education, and treatment by mobilizing churches in the region to be part of the solution. Uplift is developing a certification program so all drivers can better understand and support clients of the program. The ETSU Addiction Science Center will use funds to support employers with policy reviews and supervisor training. Since inception, approximately 1,000 clients have been served, 76 employers have become Caring Workplaces, and over 300 individuals have become employed.

Tennessee's Opioid Abatement Council was established in law by the Tennessee General Assembly to decide how to best spend dollars received from lawsuits related to the opioid crisis. During their most recent funding cycle, the Council Awarded a total of $80,936,057 to organizations across the state that are working to address substance use disorder. 

The breakdown below reflects the funding received by organizations in Northeast Tennessee. 

For questions about this or other District News, please contact Mark Stevans,

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