Job Seekers in Substance Recovery

The Non-Traditional Workforce committee of the Workforce Development Alliance has compiled the resources below to aid local companies in their effort to develop a strong and consistent workforce and to hire individuals from non-traditional workforce pools. 


Federal Bonding is a program established by the U.S. Department of Labor to provide Fidelity Bonds for hard-to-place job seekers. These bonds cover the first six months of employment at no cost to the employer nor the applicant. This unique program incentivizes employers to hire individuals whose backgrounds can pose significant barriers to securing or retaining employment by offering financial protection in the event the individual causes a monetary loss to the employer.


Many people are surprised to learn that this program is not limited to those with a criminal record. Populations potentially eligible for this program include justice-involved citizens, individuals in recovery from substance use disorders, welfare recipients, individuals with poor credit records, economically disadvantaged youth and adults who lack work histories, and individuals dishonorably discharged from the military. 


Each bond has a $5,000 limit with a $0 deductible. Bonds can be applied to:

  •  Any job
  • Any full time or part time employee with paid wages (with federal taxes automatically deducted)
  • Any employee dishonesty committed on or away from the worksite 

Advantages of this program include:

  • No application for job seekers to complete
  • No paperwork for employers to sign or submit
  • No formal bond approval process
  • No federal regulations applicable to bonds issued
  • No follow up or required termination actions
  • No deductible paid if a bond claim is filed by the employer
  • No age requirement (other than legal working age)
Individuals (Job Seekers) must acquire the bond by contacting the state Bonding Coordinator who services their area of residence. For more information about this program click HERE to visit the Federal Bond website. 

Employers who hire workers in substance use recovery may enroll in the Substance Use Recovery and Workplace Safety Program. This program is brought to you by your local Alcohol and Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board and the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.

This program provides the following:

  • Reimbursement for pre-employment, random, confirmatory, reasonable suspicion, post-accident, and return-to-duty drug testing.
  • Training for managers/supervisors to better manage and retain workers in recovery.
  • A forum for employers, workers, and boards to share their success stories and learn from each other.

Required information:

  • BWC policy number
  • Company name and DBA name
  • Company address, city, state, and ZIP code
  • County
  • Number of employees
  • Employer contact name, title, address, phone number and email for the program

Click HERE for more information and the enrollment form. If you have all the required information, click HERE to get started.

Individuals from this talent source may initially have some other specific needs to help them be successful at your company. Some things to consider when planning to tap into this population of job seekers include:

  • Individuals may need sporadic time off work to attend continued treatment appointments.
  • Individuals who are involved in Peer Support Programs have better long-term outcomes. Some employers who have found success hiring this population of job seekers have implemented access to mental health support and on the job support to reduce stress/triggers. This type of support does not need to be limited only to employees recovering from substance use disorder, but rather can be a benefit to all employees.
  • Consider developing a Recovery Friendly Workplace (RFW) with a RFW checklist process that results in an official RFW designation (the development of an RFW culture, and visibility that helps challenge the stigma around substance use disorder). Use the New Hamshire Recovery Friends Workplace link below to see how 300 NH workpaces are participating in this initiative representing over 83,000 employees. Note: The success of the RFW iniitative has spread across the country, and over 25 entities from other states have reached out to learn how to best replicate the initiative to meet the needs of their communities.

Use the hyperlinks below to view helpful resources from models that have proved successful in other areas as well as useful data regarding this population:

New Hampshire Recovery Friendly Workplace

Hot Chicken Takeover

Recovery Ohio Employer Education Models

Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities

Ohio Opioid Curriculum

JFS Opioid Grants


Local resources include:

OhioMeansJobs Knox County provides job readiness training within the local substance recovery agencies. To learn more about connecting with these job seekers,  CONTACT US  and an Employment Services Specialist will be in touch with you.


TouchePointe Marriage and Family Resources is a local organization that offers a Knox Works Program. This program partners with individuals to support them as they begin employment until they are self-sustaining. Click HERE to visit them on the web.


Riverside Recovery Services offers intensive and non-intensive outpatient services, residential services for men and women, and transition/sober living for men and women. Riverside understands the importance of second chances and whenever possible, has hired those in recovery, giving those staff a second chance to be part of the solution. Click HERE to learn more about this organization.


The Freedom Center is an outpatient substance use disorder and prevention and behavioral health treatment center. Their program allows individuals to receive treatment while living at their own homes and staying in their own community. Click HERE to learn more about their organization.


Thank you for completing the First Responders Residential History ADA Form

Skip to content