Senators introduce bill to add job training to addiction recovery

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WASHINGTON (CBS19 NEWS) -- Three U.S. Senators, including Tim Kaine, have introduced a bill to incorporate job training into drug addiction recovery programs.

The bill is called the Jobs Plus Recovery Act, and it was sponsored by Kaine, Todd Young of Indiana and Doug Jones of Alabama.

The legislation would create a pilot program giving people impacted by opioid addiction or substance abuse disorders access to job training and support services to help them with their recovery.

According to a release, research has shown that having consistent work improves the likelihood that addiction treatment will be successful.

The program would allow communities to create partnerships between substance use disorder treatment and recovery providers.

"The substance abuse epidemic has had a devastating effect on communities across the country, and a lack of job opportunity has exacerbated this crisis," said Kaine. "We must find a way to address this crisis and to help those who are trying to get back on their feet, stay there. By ensuring that job training is a part of the recovery process, we are investing in better outcomes, which will have a positive impact on the economy, employers and entire communities."

In 2014, Congress passed another piece of legislation, called the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, which provides job training assistance to people with a barrier to employment.

The new bill would allow program funded by that 2014 legislation to provide support services to people with substance disorders and consider their needs as part of strategic planning processes to tackle the opioid epidemic.

The pilot program would be the first to integrate job skills training with addiction treatment, divided into three stages: pre-employment, early employment and continuing employment.

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