The Kentucky Chamber Foundation announced today the fourth graduating class of its “Fair Chance Academy,” an ongoing initiative to address Kentucky’s workforce challenges by hiring individuals in need of a second chance. 19 business leaders from across the Commonwealth, representing a wide range of industries, completed the program in September. A full list of Fair Chance Academy graduates can be found at kentuckycomeback.com/fairchanceacademy.
The Kentucky Chamber Foundation’s Workforce Recovery Program first launched the Fair Chance Academy in May 2022. Since then, almost 100 Kentucky business leaders have participated in the program, and those companies are now certified as “Fair Chance Employers” by the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy and the Kentucky Chamber Foundation. Through this, employers have connected over 300 individuals to employment, which have been sourced from key partners including Addiction Recovery Care, Isaiah House, the Department of Corrections, and more.
The program, which includes three full-day sessions at the Kentucky Chamber office in Frankfort, provides participants with valuable training, information, and resources to successfully foster transformational employment opportunities for individuals in recovery from substance use disorders who are ready to reenter the workforce. After the Academy, participating businesses spend the following three months implementing what they have learned, with the support of the Kentucky Chamber Foundation’s Workforce Recovery Program.
“The Kentucky Chamber Foundation started the Fair Chance Academy because we recognized that employers wanted to take a more active role in addressing the impacts of substance use and getting more people back into the workforce,” said Beth Davisson, Senior Vice President of the Kentucky Chamber Foundation. “It’s encouraging to see the clear and continued commitment from businesses to finding, hiring, and retaining fair chance talent.”
“The Fair Chance Academy is an eye-opening experience, with wonderful resources and networking opportunities for moving forward with fair chance employment opportunities in my organization,” said Micah Eastham, Human Resources Coordinator at CHI St Joseph Health.
The Fair Chance Academy was established through funding from Isaiah House, The Just Trust, Kentucky Opioid Response Effort (KORE), and the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy (ODCP).
The Kentucky Chamber Foundation’s Fair Chance Academy plans to expand regionally over the next year. To learn more about the Kentucky Chamber Foundation’s efforts and initiatives to address the substance use disorder crisis, visit kentuckycomeback.com.