|Also today, the Governor spoke with five new transition agents who are set to complete their orientation and will soon begin helping their fellow West Virginians.
This will bring the total number of transition agents to 21.
“In my initial idea, I didn’t have the transition agents as part of the idea and that really was an ingredient that literally set this thing on fire and set this thing really going,” Gov. Justice said. “These people are monitoring and helping and giving assistance in every different way to be able to get these people through a God-awful war in their life that is just a battle that is really tough to win.”
Jobs & Hope West Virginia is the result of the concept brought forth by Gov. Justice during his 2019 State of the State address, to remove barriers to job opportunities for those recovering from addiction.
Since being officially unveiled last October, the program has had 3,400 referrals. Currently, there are more than 1,800 active participants.
As of September 2020, Jobs & Hope West Virginia has had 84 program graduates. Transition Agents across the state have helped 193 clients get their driver’s licenses reinstated. Thanks to a partnership between Jobs & Hope West Virginia and Good News Mountaineer Garage, 19 participants are now vehicle owners.
“I really can’t say enough about this program and how it’s been a great opportunity to witness lives being changed for the better in the state of West Virginia,” said Deb Harris, Lead Transition Agent for Jobs & Hope West Virginia. “Partnerships like Legal Aid, Workforce, Good News Mountaineer Garage, and so many others have been instrumental in making this program a success.”
“West Virginians work together to solve problems and Jobs & Hope is a great example of that,” said Lorrie Smith, Jobs & Hope manager through the West Virginia Department of Education. “We've been able to develop State, local,
community, non-profit, recovery, and training partners that help our participants in so many ways. We have referral processes for almost any barrier that a West Virginian would face.”
Assistance through the Jobs & Hope program is not only for those battling addiction. Any person seeking a pathway to more meaningful employment through job training, obtaining certifications, or other types of education may be eligible.
If you or someone you know needs help, please visit jobsandhope.wv.gov or call the hotline at 304-583-4008 or 1-833-784-1385.