Delaware County’s Heroin Task Force Gives Those in Recovery a Second Chance


District Attorney Jack Whelan and Delaware County Councilman Dave White, founders and co-chairs of the Delaware County Heroin Task Force, have announced a new program aimed at helping those in long-term recovery.

Joined by members of the Heroin Task Force, Delaware County’s Office of Workforce Development Board, the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce, Educational Data Systems (EDSI), and MVP Recovery, Whelan and White detailed the Task Force’s new program, “Second Chance Employment.”

The pilot program, which began last week, is targeted toward women currently in treatment at MVP Recovery. EDSI, contracted through Delaware County’s Office of Workforce Development, will go to MVP Recovery and assist the women with resume writing, career counseling, and interviewing skills.

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“The opioid epidemic is a community problem and it needs a community solution, and the business community has the ability to help,” said Whelan. “We understand that there may be some hesitation to hire someone with a criminal record or lapse of employment, but these are men and women who have worked hard at recovery.

“They are working the program, and they are motivated to get their lives back and become positive and healthy members of their communities. Without a job, they are less likely to succeed.”

The goals of the program are to help those in recovery:

  • build confidence and self-esteem through workshops, assessments and skills analysis
  • develop an employment portfolio – resume, cover letter, thank you letter, applications
  • enhance their interview skills and techniques
  • provide one-to-one career coaching
  • build a career pathway that demonstrates the steps needed to obtain both short- and long-term career goals
  • connect to employment opportunities that align with their career pathway

“The opioid epidemic is no longer just an isolated problem for a few. It’s affecting everyone. It has touched every single one of us in some way,” said White. “We need to remove the stigma. We have identified the need for employment, and now we are providing those in recovery with the tools they need to obtain a job. And we are asking the business community to give them a second chance. A job provides not only financial freedom, but it offers hope and the power to succeed at a lifetime of recovery.”

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