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Applications open for third cohort of Kentucky Chamber Foundation’s Fair Chance Academy

As part of its ongoing efforts to strengthen and grow Kentucky’s workforce through fair chance hiring, the Kentucky Chamber Foundation’s Workforce Recovery Program is opening applications for its third cohort of the Fair Chance Academy.

Employers can apply now until May 8, with programming to start in June.

The Fair Chance Academy launched last year to provide businesses and employers with training, information, and resources to foster transformational employment opportunities for individuals in recovery from substance use disorders and those returning from the criminal justice system who are ready to re-enter the workforce.

“Through the Fair Chance Academy, employers are able to learn how to hire and retain individuals from an untapped talent pool that is filled with Kentuckians looking for an opportunity to work,” said LaKisha Miller, Executive Director of the Kentucky Chamber Foundation’s Workforce Center. “This program not only teaches business leaders the best ways to hire from this population, but it also continuously supports them on their journey to becoming transformational employers. We encourage businesses of all sizes and across all industries to apply for this unique program.”

The Kentucky Chamber Foundation will select 25 businesses to be part of the Fair Chance Academy’s three cohorts in 2023. Employers will participate in three full-day training workshops at the Kentucky Chamber headquarters in Frankfort on the following dates:

• Thursday, June 8, 2023
• Thursday, June 15, 2023
• Thursday, June 22, 2023 – graduation

Participants will take what they learn from the program and work directly with the Kentucky Chamber Foundation to implement actionable steps within their businesses to become fair chance employers, including building fair chance pipelines with local recovery centers and justice systems.

“I feel so fortunate to have attended the Academy these last three weeks. Prior to this, I felt like I was alone, and this task ahead of me was all on me to do by myself. Now, I feel like I have tremendous resources that I have never had before. It gives me even more confidence that we’re going to be successful in doing something that no one else has ever done. In my industry, no one has ever tried to do this, and now I have a path forward,” said The Jordan Center CEO David McKenzie.

“The Fair Chance Academy has already made positive impacts on individuals in recovery as we have seen businesses hire directly from recovery centers since graduating last June,” said Van Ingram, Executive Director of the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy. “2,250 Kentuckians died from drug overdoses in 2021, which was an increase of more than 14% from 2020. Certifying employers as ‘fair chance’ can provide stable employment for someone and can provide Kentuckians with purpose and motivation.”

The Fair Chance Academy is part of the Kentucky Chamber Foundation’s Transformational Employment Program, which launched in 2020 and provides a pathway for employers to help more Kentuckians reach long-term recovery from substance use disorders while supporting fair chance employment. 149 Kentucky employers have signed up to date, impacting more than 50,000 employees.

Now through May 8, businesses can apply to participate in the Fair Chance Academy. The application can be found online at kentuckycomeback.com.

To learn more about the Kentucky Chamber Foundation’s efforts and initiatives to address the substance use disorder crisis, visit kychamber.com.

Kentucky Chamber of Commerce

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