Scioto County received $50,000 this month under The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation's (BWC) new Substance Use Recovery and Workplace Safety Program that helps employers hire and retain workers recovering from drug addictions. Scioto County is the first county to receive funding under the $5 million program that launched in October. It currently covers three counties, Montgomery, Ross and Scioto, but Governor Mike DeWine recently proposed expanding the program to help employers in other parts of the state. He is requesting $15 million in the BWC’s fiscal year 20-21 budget.
“This state has been hit hard by our nation’s opioid crisis, and that goes for our employers, too,” said BWC Administrator/CEO Stephanie McCloud. “We’re hopeful this program can lift some of the administrative burden employers face in finding and retaining qualified, drug-free workers to fill vacant jobs. We believe this program will lead to safer, more productive workplaces.”
The Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) Board serving Scioto County will administer the funds to support 10 local employers that have applied so far to participate in the program. The funding will cover the following services for the first quarter of calendar year 2019:
The role of ADAMHS boards in the participating counties is to identify eligible employers and employees, disperse funding and measure results. Employers pay for expenses up front and apply to the boards for reimbursement. The program applies to workers recovering from any dangerous substance, not just opioids.