Year 2011 and the Back to Work 2011 program was a time of growth for us! We served a little more than 1,400 people in computer job skills classes, continued helping the State of Indiana with the Indiana Access to Recovery program and added new training to help us help wounded warriors. We continued our work with Catholic Charities of Northeast Indiana in their Federal SCSEP “Senior Aides” program but we did not receive any new grants. We did receive a few donations with income of $1,082, $618 of which was from ATR reimbursements, and we had expenses of $1,261, $350 of which was for ATR, $346 for charity help rendered to the destitute, and $159 was for software licenses. We lost $179 last year. The whole report is posted on our web site on the Year to Date financials page.
We are now in 2012 and our Back to Work 2012 program. We did succeed at training some people to help other non-profits last year, but for the most part we were handcuffed by lack of funding to hire our first paid staff. We were supportive of several area non-profits, and continued our ATR training with special training fron Indiana at ATR’s Operation Immersion and SBHP’s fall trainings in TBI and PTSD. Our hope is that we can create a “one stop” environment where returning warriors can get the job skills training help they need without being sent from agency to agency.
Our major goals for this years project, Back to Work 2012, is to start serving veterans, to prepare more computer job skills trainers for placement at willing area non-profits to expand the availability of free or very affordable job skills training, to continue our work with the Karen and SCSEP populations, and to increase our participation in the Indiana Access to Recovery program by increasing participant awareness of the importance of employment as a means of improving and sustaining recovery from addictions.
We are also hoping to provide at least one large job alternatives seminar this summer, possibly in cooperation with other are no-profits which has shown an interest. Alternatives teaches income seekers to consider alternative income streams, such as 1099 contracting and business to business in addition to the conventional W-2 employment models. This has proven a successful approach with our ATR client in 2010 and 2011 and needs to be mainstreamed.
Data analysis by InATR Program Director Eric Scott showed that 80% of the variability in recovery was tied directly to employment, so this is a very important factor that receives far too little weight. It is easy to discount employment as a factor in sustained recovery by quipping “those people were just motivated” (wait: someone has seen a ‘motivated’ addict?) but the reason for the importance of employment to sustained recovery runs far deeper. The search for a job forces a person to take inventory of themselves, make a list and develop and occasionally revise an action plan to change for the better, which may also include making amends for some past mistakes.
Once employment is achieved it keeps the person occupied 9 hours a day so they are less likely to use because of boredom, gives them a group of people at work with which they build professional relationships and who hold each other accountable, opens the door for constructive social activities with those fellow employees that do not involve recreational drugs, increases their personal sense of worth because an employer appreciates their help enough to pay them wages to get it, and reinforces their confidence that their choices today influence the outcomes for them tomorrow.
Our first need for Back to Work 2012 is to hire staff, then to seek funding from those who share our vision for the work to be done in this community. Some improvements have already been made to our lab – five computers were replaced with newer ones and some painting has been done, and our office was redesigned by the Lunas of My Pretty House Designs – but improvements are needed to the lab to accommodate more students as we shift our focus to training instructors: we currently can seat eight, and should be able to seat 21: to structure class with one professor and three aids, each aide being responsible for seven students. Our curriculum needed to be updated last year to include Windows 7 and Ubuntu screen shots, but it did not get done, again due to lack of funding. The lab also needs some modification to increase its size and allow use evenings without allowing access to the entire ALC campus: locking gates or doors will need to be installed in the halls with an outside door that enters at the lab proper. A coffee bar with proper counterspace and plumbing would be helpful.
All in all, Back to Work 2011 was a productive year but we could do better, and Back to Work 2012 is our chance to add paid staff and begin work with our returning veterans in earnest.
Adult Life Training, Inc.
President’s Annual Report
Fiscal Year 2011