Event Recap: Forum Offers Latest Information about Training and Demand for Substance Use and Addictions Workforce in Massachusetts

Post Date: 07.05.2018

Event Recap: Forum Offers Latest Information about Training and Demand for Substance Use and Addictions Workforce in Massachusetts

Nearly 100 workforce development professionals, educators, and substance use and addictions recovery providers from across the state gathered on June 13, 2018 at Worcester State University to learn about the substance use disorder (SUD) workforce. Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development, Rosalin Acosta, welcomed participants and encouraged them to strengthen relationships while increasing their collective knowledge of SUD jobs, career paths and strategies for supporting and growing this critical workforce.

The full day program included presentations, a panel discussion and opportunities for networking and focused discussion among professionals from similar regions in the state. Here are some highlights:

  • Jen Parks from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Bureau of Substance Addiction Services shared a brief history of the evolution of SUD services and snapshot of the current service delivery model. Click here to view her powerpoint presentation.
  • Pat Emsellem, Chief Operating Officer of SSTAR in Fall River, provided an employer’s perspective on the qualities that are critical in the SUD workplace and shared strategies that her agency has put in place to support and retain staff. Click here to view the SSTAR powerpoint presentation. Click on the following links for video clips that were embedded in the presentation: Cleveland Clinic ClipVarieties of Lived Experience; Overcoming Fears, Financial and Time Challenges; and Workforce Development Strengthens Families.
  • Panelists representing the Career Centers (JVS CareerSolution), the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC), and North Shore Community College shared their experience with recruiting and coaching adults interested in pursuing training and employment in this growing field. The final panelist, an employee from PIER Recovery Center of Cape Cod, shared how his personal experience with addiction led him into this field where he now works as a director of two recovery support centers. Click here to view the powerpoint presentations used during the panel discussion.
  • Throughout the day, audience members were seated at tables with colleagues from their geographic region which provided the opportunity for networking. A lunch time facilitated discussion allowed each group to identify strategic approaches to developing stronger partnerships within their region.


For copies of the handouts provided at the Forum and the Careers of Substance resource website, see links below:

Careers of Substance Website
Addiction Education Provider Listing
Career Center Listing
DPH Recovery Coach Information Handout
MRC Job Placement Specialist Listing