Widespread opioid misuse caused chronic shortages of skilled workers for Belden, a manufacturer of networking and connectivity products, at its plant in Richmond, IN. Rather than send otherwise-qualified applicants packing if they fail a drug test, the company now offers them a deal: Give up opioids, and we’ll give you a good job.
For those who accept that challenge, Belden pays for substance-abuse treatment, including individual counseling personalized for each new hire. The company then follows up with a series of assessments and screenings to make sure workers stay clean.
Belden isn’t going it alone. The initial blueprint for Pathways to Employment came from Dr. Mitchell Rosenthal, founder of national drug-treatment nonprofit Phoenix House. The company runs the program with help from drug-abuse rehabilitation partners Centerstone Indiana, Meridian Health Services, Ivy Tech Community College, and Manpower.