ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — For those who make it to the other side of drug addiction, they still face an uphill battle. The stigma of addiction makes it difficult for people to find work, but some New York lawmakers are hoping to change that trend.
New York State has a new incentive for businesses to help people in recovery get back on their feet, and those who’ve struggled with addiction say having a steady job is critical to the process.
“When I entered recovery, this would have been awesome for me to gain employment in the recovery community,” Youth Voices Matter NY Recovery Program Specialist Lori Teaney said. “When I first entered recovery I was 21. It was in 2010.”
The first of its kind program will allow employers to apply for a tax credit for each person in recovery that they hire.
“I know that people speak about the program all over the state,” Allison Weingarten, Friends of Recovery NY Interim Executive Director, said. “So we’re really looking forward to having those opportunities for people all over the state.”
Assemblymember Billy Jones says the idea came from a constituent.
“He is a local business person here in Plattsburgh,” he siad. “He’s a person in recovery for over 30 years now, and he actually came up with the idea.”
Advocates say the program is another piece to removing the stigma around addiction.
“They’re just people like us, and they just want to work hard, and they want to better their life and in order to do that they need a job and steady income,” advocate Shannon Schielke said.
Up to $2 million will be allocated annually for the credits.