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Maryland Department of Labor Launches Recovery Friendly Workplace Pilot and Participates in National Governors Association Policy Academy for Overdose Prevention

BALTIMORE, MD (December 12, 2023) – The Maryland Department of Labor announced the launch of a Recovery Friendly Workplace pilot funded by the Maryland Department of Health’s Behavioral Health Administration. Through September 2024, over $438,000 in federal funding will help Maryland Department of Labor support employers in cultivating a workplace environment that is inclusive of individuals who identify as being in recovery from a substance use disorder. 

In an effort to maximize the success of this critical initiative, Maryland Department of Labor was selected to participate in the National Governors Association (NGA) Policy Academy on Overdose Prevention Across the Continuum alongside the Opioid Operational Command Center (OOCC) and the Maryland Department of Health.  

“We appreciate the support and partnership for this important initiative to help provide more inclusive opportunities for Marylanders in recovery,” said Maryland Department of Labor Secretary Portia Wu. “Recovery impacts all facets of life, including careers and professional development. This collaboration across state government will help us to develop best practices so that workplaces  foster professional and personal growth.”

The Western Maryland Consortium, Susquehanna Workforce Network, and St. Mary's County Health Department will receive funding and participate in the pilot. These organizations are established leaders in regions significantly impacted by the addiction and overdose crisis. The funding will allow the three organizations to hire a full-time Certified Peer Recovery Specialist who will serve as a resource to those in recovery and a liaison to businesses who seek to implement the Recovery Friendly model.

“This initiative supports Marylanders in recovery while helping to build a strong, resilient workforce,” said Maryland Department of Health Secretary Laura Herrera Scott. “This pilot offers a foundation of support to empower individuals in their recovery journey and make a lasting difference in their lives.”

Through participation in the NGA Policy Academy, Maryland Department of Labor, along with the OOCC and Health, will glean best practices for supporting employers in implementing Recovery Friendly Workplaces, develop a plan for expansion across the State, and explore avenues for sustainability.

“Access to employment helps empower individuals and provide an essential source of stability and fulfillment for all Marylanders, especially those on their recovery journeys,” said Special Secretary Emily Keller. “We are grateful for the support of the National Governors Association as we work to expand the Recovery Friendly Workplace pilot program statewide. Building a Maryland that leaves no one behind means ensuring that people in recovery across the state can access employment and work to meet their fundamental needs.” 

To learn more about the Recovery Friendly Workplace initiative, visit labor.maryland.gov/employment/rfworkplace.shtml

The Department of Labor strives to create an equitable and inclusive Maryland where all residents have the opportunities and resources to attain financial stability, reach their career potential, and contribute to their communities; where businesses have access to capital and the skilled workforce they need to succeed; where workplaces are safe and well-regulated; and where the economy is resilient and growing. For updates and information, follow Labor on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and visit our website.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Jamie Mangrum