Caring Workplace Rural Opportunities Initiative
Substance abuse costs Tennessee an estimated $2 billion each year. The lost wages of about 31,000 Tennesseans who are out of work because of addiction account for more than half of that estimate. ( 2017 University of Tennessee study).
The Caring Workplace Rural Opportunities Initiative is fully funded through a Workforce Opportunities for Rural Communities (WORC) grant by the United States Department of Labor in the amount of 1.3 million dollars awarded to the First Tennessee Development District. Coordinated by the First Tennessee Development District (FTDD) a regional group of community partners is building an ecosystem to support employers and individuals in recovery or justice-involved. By becoming certified Caring Workplaces, businesses can demonstrate to others, their organizations' commitment to helping their current employees and their families with challenges associated with substance use disorder as well as give opportunities to those in recovery or justice-involved, who deserve a fair chance at employment.