Belden Inc. and its community partners pilot a unique program that blends drug rehabilitation with the promise of employment for workers willing to lead drug-free lives.

Under its “Pathways to Employment” initiative, Belden and local partners - Centerstone Indiana, Meridian Health Services, Ivy Tech Community College, and Manpower - launched their pilot program in February 2018. Potential Belden employees who are denied a position because of a failed drug test will now be able to participate in a personalized drug rehabilitation program. A job with Belden awaits those who successfully complete their course of treatment and commit to maintaining a life free of substance abuse.

The program is designed to address two major problems currently facing the nation: substance abuse, which is highlighted by the current opioid crisis, and the shortage of workers available to many companies in critical American industries. Belden believes programs such as Pathways to Employment, when delivered effectively, can be a win for both employees and employers.

How the Program Works


The Pathways to Employment program was originally conceived in conjunction with Dr. Mitchell S. Rosenthal, who was the founder of Phoenix House—the national non-profit drug treatment organization—and is the president of The Rosenthal Center for Addiction Studies in New York City.


Candidates complete substance abuse screening(s), interview and assessment; a professional counselor recommends a treatment plan.


Based on progress, candidates complete an employment readiness assessment program and are provided information about how Ivy Tech Community College can prepare them for gainful employment.


Candidates who have successfully completed treatment are placed into jobs at Belden through Manpower. Pathways participants continue to receive drug tests to ensure they maintain a substance-free lifestyle.  Their first job at the Belden plant is in a safety conscious role, which includes things like cleaning, organizing, and 5S initiatives (five steps— sort, set in order, shine, standardize, and sustain). After another series of drug tests, they move to a machine operating role.

Source: Belden Inc.

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