WVPA Sharing

Gov. Justice celebrates 500th Jobs & Hope graduates

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — On May 8, Gov. Jim Justice joined the Jobs & Hope WV team to celebrate their 500th graduates.

The event honored Sierra Mullins and Joshua Shane McCoy, the program’s 500th and 501st graduates, and their employers, ORDERS Construction and Peer Solutions. 

During the 2019 State of the State address, Gov. Justice introduced Jim’s Dream, a beacon of hope amid West Virginia’s struggle with the opioid crisis. Gov. Justice’s visionary initiative laid the foundation for Jobs & Hope WV, a comprehensive program aimed at creating real, positive change.

In October 2019, Gov. Justice launched Jobs & Hope WV, marking a significant step forward in the fight against the Substance Use Disorder Crisis in West Virginia. The collaborative program offers support through a statewide collaboration of agencies that provide West Virginians in need the opportunity to obtain career training and to ultimately secure meaningful employment. 

“Today’s 500th graduates are a testament to the remarkable impact of the Jobs & Hope program,” Gov. Justice said. “It all began with a dream I had for a better life for West Virginians grappling with addiction. Now, Jobs & Hopes has shattered so many records it’s unbelievable. We are heading in the right direction and need to keep on rolling because lives are being changed.”

The graduates, Sierra Mullins, and Joshua Shane McCoy, who were honored at the celebration, shared their inspiring journeys of resilience and recovery. They spoke about the profound impact that Jobs & Hope WV and their partners had on their lives, enabling their successful reentry into the workforce in the Mountain State.  

Joshua’s journey with Jobs & Hope WV began in March 2021, leading to gainful employment as a Heavy Equipment Operator with Orders Construction. Leveraging program resources, Joshua completed vocational training and received essential support, culminating in his transformative journey toward self-sufficiency and prosperity. 

Sierra’s transformative campaign with Jobs & Hope WV commenced on January 2021, overcoming formidable challenges to secure employment at Peer Solutions. Her resilience and determination and program support exemplify the program’s commitment to empowering individuals on their path to recovery and professional success. 

The dedication and commitment of employers across West Virginia serve as catalysts for positive change, paving the way for individuals to rebuild their lives and contribute meaningfully to their communities. As integral partners in the reentry process, employers play a vital role in the success of programs like Jobs & Hope WV, ultimately shaping a brighter future for the Mountain State. 

Integral to the Jobs & Hope West Virginia structure are 23 strategically positioned transition agents possessing comprehensive expertise in peer recovery services, regional support networks, workforce development, vocational training, and higher education opportunities. These programs cater to all West Virginians facing obstacles to career employment, provided they are educationally and vocationally prepared.  

Beyond serving participants, Jobs & Hope WV extends incentives to West Virginia employers through the Jobs & Hope WV Employment Program. This program offers salary reimbursement for wages up to $25,000 or 1,040 hours, along with complimentary workplace drug testing support. Employers interested in the Employment Program can click here for more information.  

For those interested in signing up for the Jobs & Hope WV program or know someone who might benefit from its services, the journey can begin by visiting their website at https://jobsandhope.wv.gov/. Here, individuals can access comprehensive information about the program, eligibility criteria, and how to get started on their path to meaningful employment. 

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