Kentucky Chamber Foundation Opens Applications for Fair Chance Academy to Help Employers Foster Transformational Employment Opportunities

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As part of ongoing efforts to strengthen and grow Kentucky’s workforce through fair chance hiring, the Kentucky Chamber Foundation’s Workforce Recovery Program is opening applications for its second annual Fair Chance Academy. Employers can apply starting now until January 6, with programming to start in February 2023.

The Fair Chance Academy launched last year to provide businesses and employers with training, information, and resources to foster transformational employment opportunities for individuals in recovery from substance use disorders and those returning from the criminal justice system who are ready to re-enter the workforce.

“One of the most important indicators for an individual to remain in long-term recovery is employment,” said LaKisha Miller, Executive Director of the Kentucky Chamber Foundation’s Workforce Center. “An employer has a critical role to play in helping individuals return to the workforce and reducing stigma around recovery in the workplace. This Academy is meant to help employers transform lives, and we encourage businesses of all sizes and across all industries to apply.”

The Kentucky Chamber Foundation will select 25 businesses to be part of the Fair Chance Academy’s three cohorts in 2023. Employers will participate in three full-day training workshops at the Kentucky Chamber headquarters in Frankfort on the following dates:

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Wednesday, February 15, 2023 – graduation

Participants will take what they learn from the program and work directly with the Kentucky Chamber Foundation to implement actionable steps within their businesses to become fair chance employers, including building fair chance pipelines with local recovery centers and justice systems.

“This was an exciting opportunity for us to participate in and we were able to take what we’ve learned to help build upon a relationship with our local recovery center,” said Leigh Scully with Toyotomi America. “We have hired more than 20 individuals from Addiction Recovery Care, increasing our intentional hiring practices with fair chance populations because of what we learned in the Fair Chance Academy.”

“The Fair Chance Academy has already made positive impacts on individuals in recovery as we have seen businesses hire directly from recovery centers since graduating last June,” said Van Ingram, Executive Director of the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy. “2,250 Kentuckians died from drug overdoses in 2021, which was an increase of more than 14% from 2020. Certifying employers as ‘fair chance’ can provide stable employment for someone and can provide Kentuckians with purpose and motivation.”

The Fair Chance Academy is part of the Kentucky Chamber Foundation’s Transformational Employment Program, which launched in 2020 and provides a pathway for employers to help more Kentuckians reach long-term recovery from substance use disorders while supporting fair chance employment. 99 Kentucky employers have signed up to-date, impacting more than 19,000 employees.

Now through January 6, 2023 businesses can apply to participate in the Fair Chance Academy. The application can be found online at kentuckycomeback.com/fairchanceacademy.

To learn more about the Kentucky Chamber Foundation’s efforts and initiatives to address the substance use disorder crisis, visit kychamber.com/workforcerecovery.

WKYT