MAYVILLE, N.Y.: Employers in nearly every field and industry are facing workforce shortages and recruitment challenges. Healthcare, including mental healthcare and addiction services, is no exception. New initiatives for the prevention of, treatment for, and recovery from addiction can be constrained by the difficulty of recruiting trained staff.
Chautauqua County government, through the grant-funded CombatAddictionCHQ.com initiative, is working “upstream” to prepare a workforce for the needs of our community agencies and the residents they serve. The Chautauqua Addiction Services Leadership Development Program offers promising students from the addictions counseling program at Jamestown Community College and the social work program at the State University of New York (SUNY) Fredonia a semester of additional professional development plus opportunities to interact with leaders of local agencies.
The program’s goals include increasing the likelihood that this future addiction services workforce will choose careers right here in our own county. The program has now had 20 student participants over three semesters, and already this future workforce is becoming the present workforce as local agencies have begun to hire some of these talented individuals.
A sampling of student comments indicates the value of this program:
“This program was extremely helpful for me and I am so appreciative for the opportunity. Getting to know local agency leaders was so helpful in discovering available resources. I appreciated getting real world perspective to supplement my education . . .”
“This was an amazing opportunity that I am so grateful to be a part of! I learned a lot about the community agencies and leaders I have available to me. . .”
“[A] really amazing way to gain connections and learn about the field!”
“I absolutely loved this program, and I am so glad to have had this opportunity!”
Steve Kilburn, Grant Projects Director at the Chautauqua County Department of Mental Hygiene said, “The Chautauqua Addiction Services Leadership Development Program is one of the many ways that we are strategically and assertively taking the initiative to combat addiction in Chautauqua County. A trained, gifted, and compassionate local workforce is crucial for providing our residents and their families with the help and support they need.”
To learn more about the Chautauqua Addiction Services Leadership Development Program contact Steve Kilburn at 716-753-4509. You can access information about mental health and addiction services in Chautauqua County at CombatAddictionCHQ.com or in Spanish at CombatAddictionCHQ.com/es/.