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Website Encourages Hiring of Recovering Addicts and Ex-offenders


Larry Keast, founder and CEO of Houston manufacturing company Venturetech, is using the Internet to advocate for the hiring of those jobseekers typically avoided by employers, ex-offenders and those in recovery from substance abuse, the Chicago Tribune reported on April 7.

The web project, named America in Recovery, matches applicants' resumes with the small business owners looking to hire those Keast calls “America's unemployables.”

Five years ago, Keast's company began hiring recovering substance users and ex-offenders, and as a result saw an improvement in their business. Employee morale and productivity increased, and employee turnover and training costs decreased.

Keast decided to spread his message so that other business owners could be aware of the mutual benefits of hiring those typically neglected by the job market. He invested $30,000 to $40,000 in starting up the America in Recovery website, which operates tax-free as a non-profit organization. The website is self-running, self-funded and easy to use, he said.

“People who need a job just enter their resume information directly into the Web site. Employers may enter their information or not,” he said. “Then, each side communicates with the other directly and we have no need for a costly staff or time-consuming processing.”

“These guys are teaching me to do something I never thought I could accomplish,” said one Venturetech employee, who had served over 18 years in prison on drug charges before he was hired as a shop hand and began learning how the company makes its equipment.

To learn more, visit

6 Responses to this article

  1. Cindy Sherlock / July 13, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    I have a family member who is a recovering heroin addict and needs to get employment in our area, is there a program available in the Northern Kentucky area, or is it possible to get information on how to go about starting a program here to accommodate recovering addicts. We are considered to be a very in a very desperate area for addiction and there are many with no hope, and see no way out.

  2. Avatar of Nicci
    Nicci / December 2, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    Wow, I applaud this business site and even more so the small businesses who are involved in giving the 2nd chance. I live in Sydney, Australia and would love to know if you will/have stretched your organisation across the shores or if you know of a similar organisation that I could get in contact with over here?? It’s a very honourable business that doesn’t just affect the individual’s life, but their families as well.
    I have a friend that would hugely benefit from an organisation like yours, and who has the courage and ambition to prove himself but unfortunately its not easy in Australia to get that 2nd chance.

  3. Avatar of Judy Castiglione
    Judy Castiglione / October 31, 2013 at 11:46 pm

    This is amazing. I own a small business and have pledged to only employ recovering addicts. It is a serious problem. Heroin is an epidemic. It effects 18-24 year old males the most. Without building good resumes how will they become fathers, husbands, providers, buy homes, pay into social security or the tax base. We are creating an entire generation of unemployable lost people. We need a nationwide program quickly.

  4. Avatar of Etienne Munday
    Etienne Munday / May 17, 2013 at 7:00 am

    Great to have found this website, not sure if I am eligible as I’m not American but this gives me alot of hope for a career in my recovery.

  5. Avatar of Johnny L.Ellis
    Johnny L.Ellis / May 13, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    I live in Madison Wisconson and I would like to know if I qualify for this assistance from the program. After all, I am an American. Please respond, ASAP.


  6. Avatar of Thomas Pressley
    Thomas Pressley / June 24, 2012 at 1:57 am

    Wow – I’m so happy there are companies that do what you’re doing. I’ve been clean totally for more than 5 years and because of my longevity at prev employers it’s VERY hard to find work. Everywhere I’ve ever worked I was EXTREMELY successful, but during a relapse I’d lose jobs. Bravo to you for giving good people 2nd chances! God Bless your org. Regards, Thomas Pressley
    Port Saint Lucie Florida

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