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Recovery jobs course offered

40-hour counselor class will offer license at no cost

SOUTH POINT — With the region battling the opioid crisis, the need for recovery services has grown. And with that growth, comes the need for more credentialed staff.

Thanks to a grant, FREE CDCA Classes are being offered to be a licensed chemical dependency counselor assistant in Ohio.

According to Andie Leffingwell, of human resources at Riverside Recovery Services, the classes are a partnership between Impact Prevention and Riverside, as part of a coalition working to ease the crisis.

She said the grant was secured by David Nelson, of Ohio University Southern, who serves as Riverside’s clinical director.

Riverside will be conducting the training in Chesapeake, which Leffingwell describes as “from the ground up” and those enrolled need no prior experience and there is no cost for the classes.

“We are constantly trying to find licensed staff,” she said. “It’s hard to grow bed space without them. As we’ve been able to bring crime and the overdose rate down some, there has been an increased need for recovery services.”

Leffingwell said there are many job openings those who get the license can apply for.

She said Riverside’s opening of a facility on Big Branch Road alone will have about 20 openings they will need to fill.

“And there are other agencies in need,” she said. “These are good jobs, with benefits that can support a family.”

She said the grant will pay for 72 people to go through the 40-hour classes, offered three times, with the first starting on Friday.

Others are scheduled for March 8 and another at the end of March.

Leffingwell said there are still many openings for the class starting this week.

She also noted that most who have enrolled are women and that she encouraged men to sign up, as there is a need for male workers at the men’s facilities Riverside runs.

She said positions that the license is needed for are case management positions, which would teach those enrolled in Riverside’s programs basic life skills such as job preparation, opening a savings account and addressing court costs and child support payments.

Leffingwell said it is important for people to undergo treatment for addiction, but following that with a recovery program the case managers would work with is key.

“If you don’t go to recovery, it can be a waste of time,” she said. You can’t go back to the same environment. You’ve got to have that extra piece and this job is instrumental to that,” she said.

Those interested in the classes can call Riverside at 740-523-0777.