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  • Mark Stevans

3 Local Employers Sign on as Caring Workplaces


The First Tennessee Development District is proud to announce the inaugural companies to sign on as Caring Workplaces. Participating companies include Kingsport based construction company GRC, Elizabethton based manufacturer Rite Screen, and Johnson County based construction company GreerCo.


These employers are committed to their current employees via the pledge to create a culture that provides help and hope to employees and their families who are struggling with addictions. These companies are also partnering to hire individuals in recovery and those coming out of incarceration. With statistics indicating of those dealing with addiction, 70% are in the workplace, having employers dedicate focus, training and policies to being part of a caring and committed infrastructure to help vs. condemn or terminate someone is a positive for our region.


According to Pat Breeding with GRC, “we know that if we create a caring culture that supports our employees while still holding them accountable for their behaviors, we all win. People need to feel comfortable in asking for help for themselves or their loved ones. Productivity and absenteeism are issues that can be combatted when employees feel free to share with their supervisors and coworkers without fear of termination. Referring employees to critical services in our region is a move toward healing.” Plant manager at Rite Screen, BJ Gott says “helping employees is the right thing to do but it is also a good business decision. The cost of churn is real so you are paying for it one way or the other. Growing a culture that treats everyone with respect and recognizes we all have made mistakes at some point is a good place to be. We are also excited to be interviewing people who are coming out of incarceration to give them this second chance.” As a new company, owner Jake Greer says "Being able to partner with Caring Workplaces has given GreerCo the opportunity to work alongside those re-entering society; providing steady work, mentorship and on the job training, hopefully, empowering a sustainable, healthier, happier life."


Caring Workplaces is supported by a grant from the Department of Labor and is managed by Kristina Peters, Caring Workplaces Employer Coordinator, kpeters@ftdd.org.


To learn more about Caring Workplaces, visit www.caringworkplaces.org.

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