Friday, May 22, 2015

Job workshop expands for those affected by drugs, alcohol

Free 90-minute sessions have helped more than 100 participants find jobs from pizza parlors to financial services.

Job workshop expands for those affected by drugs, alcohol

An Employment Workshop that has helped more than 100 people affected by drugs or alcohol to find jobs is expanding.

The free, 90-minute workshop is now being offered Fridays at 9:30 a.m. in addition to sessions Mondays at 10 a.m. and Tuesdays at 6 p.m., at the Southern Bucks Recovery Community Center in Bristol Township.

“The program is designed to raise participants’ self-esteem so they can get a job,” Rick Petrolawicz, a recovery specialist at the center, said recently in a written statement. “It teaches individuals in recovery how to deal with fear, rejection and inadequacy.

“We want to teach people how to make a resume, get a job, keep that job and look professional while doing so,” he said.

The workshop is open to anyone who has been affected by drugs or alcohol, including people at all stages of recovery and relatives. Since the workshop started in November, more than 108 of the more than 200 participants have found jobs from pizza parlors to financial services.

The program doesn't get jobs for participants, but it provides resources and leads for the job search. Half of the session deals with how to get a job, and the other half on how to write a resume.

Participants can attend one session or several, and they do not need to pre-register.  

The workshop is offered by PRO-ACT, a program of the Council of Southeast Pennsylvania. The sessions are at the Southern Bucks Recovery Community Center in the Bristol Office Center, at 1286 Veterans Highway.

PRO-ACT also offers Gateway to Work, a 44-hour program usually covered in eight classes. Topics include resumes and cover letters, job application skills, interviews, computer skills, and government incentives for employers to hire.

The program will be offered April 9-19 at the council’s offices on 252 W. Swamp Rd. in Doylestown and May 1-10 in the Bristol Office Center.

Participants must apply in advance. For the Doylestown session, call Jeanne at 215-345-6644 or Jack at 215-680-3466, For the Bristol session, call Cathy at 215-788-3738 or Jack at 215-680-3466.

About this blog
Chris Palmer covers Bucks County for the Philadelphia Inquirer. His previous work has appeared in the New York Times and on several Times blogs, including City Room, the Local East Village and SchoolBook (which has since been taken over by WNYC). Contact him at, 610 313 8212 or on Twitter, @cs_palmer.

Ben Finley covers Bucks County for The Philadelphia Inquirer. He previously worked for The Associated Press, and the Bucks County Courier Times, where he won more than a dozen journalism awards from organizations including the Education Writers Association, the Society for Features Journalism and the Pennsylvania Bar Association. He grew up in Columbus, Ohio and graduated with honors from The Ohio State University with a degree in journalism. Contact him at, 610-313-8118 or on Twitter, @Ben_Finley.

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