Today, during Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week, Second Lady Karen Pence visited Belden, Inc. in Richmond, Indiana. Accompanied by Alexander Acosta, Secretary of the US Department of Labor, Dr. Jerome Adams, US Surgeon General, and Kellyanne Conway, Counselor to President Donald J. Trump, the Trump Administration highlighted how Belden’s Pathways to Employment program is an example of a new, innovative way to create a community-based solution to address the challenge drug addiction is having on their business and community.
During the visit, the Second Lady and Administration officials received a briefing on the Pathway to Recovery program, toured the plant with company executives, and delivered remarks to Belden employees.
Belden is providing a treatment program for current and prospective employees that includes the promise of employment to those committed to recovery. Belden’s Pathway to Recovery program is thought to be the first of its kind in the U.S. The program is unique because Belden pays for both current and prospective employees to undergo drug rehabilitation with the promise of employment for workers willing to lead drug-free lives. The program helps to address two key challenges for the country: the impacts of drug addiction and the lack of skilled workers to fill many job openings.
Belden is a global technology company focused on providing solutions for the reliable and secure transmission of data, audio, and video that meet the ever-expanding needs of today’s commercial and domestic consumers across the globe. The company has been manufacturing in Richmond, Indiana, since 1928, and employs more than 700 people. Belden also has a distribution center and corporate office in the Richmond area, making the company the second largest employer in Wayne County.
Since day one, the Trump Administration has worked to strengthen the public health and safety response to the opioid crisis. In March, the President announced his plan to address the epidemic by reducing drug demand, cutting off the flow of illicit drugs, expanding access to overdose prevention and evidence-based treatment for opioid use disorder, and conducting research to improve prevention and treatment in the future. This interagency effort is providing targeted funding to States and communities to help people in need. Additionally, in February, the Administration secured $6 billion in new funding for combating the opioid epidemic.
The Administration is also working daily to remove the harmful stigma and misconceptions surrounding both prescription and illicit opioid abuse. Through platforms such as The Crisis Next Door, which the White House launched earlier this year, we are building a dialogue that has the potential to save thousands of lives.