By Josephine E. Moore, The Register-Herald
BECKLEY, W.Va. — Over the past 40 years, Chris Adams said his job title has often put him in the position of deciding whether or not a person is worth interviewing for a job based on his or her resume alone.
“I was the guy that when that resume came across my desk, and I saw that employment gap, that resume went straight to the trash,” Adams said. “I was not going to take a risk on hiring a problem.”
Now the owner of his own business, Appalachian Furnishings in Wyoming County, Adams said he has since learned that he was wrong.
He said his change in views was brought on after seeing his young brother battle addition.
At the time, Adams said he was working crazy hours and really had no idea how badly his brother was struggling with addition.
“By the grace of God, we were able to get him into a program and he’s doing great, he’s doing wonderful,” Adams said. “And I realized, you know what, it’s time for me to do something about that. I wasn’t there for my baby brother like I needed to be, but I can be there for the next guy and for the next guy, or the next person.”
To help him accomplish this goal, Adams was one of 10 businesses in the spring of 2021 to sign up for the inaugural class for a program called Communities of Healing.
Funded in 2020 by the Appalachian Regional Commission, Communities of Healing is a four-month training program that helps businesses mold their current operations into social enterprises supporting local people recovering from addictions.
The program is designed on the success of Fruits of Labor, a culinary program that has worked for nine years with those in recovery and 20 years in business.
On Monday, partners and participants of Communities of Healing gathered in Beckley at the new Fruits of Labor café to celebrate the program’s spring 2022 graduates, recognize incoming participants and discuss program updates. …