Governor Jim Justice’s Jobs & Hope program was introduced last month to help people in recovery from substance abuse get back on their feet. Erin Gaertner, Jobs & Hope transition agent, working in Martinsburg, described the program to the Hardy County Commission at their regular meeting held Tuesday, Nov. 5.
“We help with barriers to employment,” Gaertner said. “Our focus is on people in recovery from addiction, but it’s open to anyone who needs training.”
In addition to job training, some of the barriers to employment include transportation and child care. Gaertner said she is working directly with the Region VII Workforce Development Board, which serves Morgan, Berkley, Jefferson, Grant, Hardy, Hampshire, Mineral and Pendleton counties. She is also working with the Potomac Highlands Guild and the South Branch Valley Day Report Center. “We can work with employers who have positions by facilitating training,” she said.