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Former addicts get second chance with job training

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GREENSBORO - Recovering addicts are learning everything they need to know to re-enter the workforce Wednesday at a workshop by Elite Professionals in Greensboro. Each of the clients going through the job training seminar completed drug and alcohol treatment programs and are now looking to learn some new skills for job searching. It's a transition that can be very difficult on the recovering addicts.

“I'm 47 and I don't know what I am going to do or what I want to be,” said Jill Addison, a recovering addict. She's worked her way through a recovery program but now she says she has to do something equally as hard, find a job. “You have a lot of fear that you've covered up with using the drugs, and so when you're not using the drugs anymore you're just left with a lot of fear," she said. "I felt fear to go out and ask people for a job even."

But she's hoping the skills she's learning from Elite Professionals will give her the knowledge and the confidence to get a job.

And she's not alone. About a dozen clients from Oxford House are hoping to do the same exact thing. “Not all of them are looking to go back into the system," said Elite Professionals President LaTonja Liner. "A good percentage of them want to be productive citizens. They want to get into society."

Liner says she teamed up with Oxford House to fill a need. Many recovering addicts were completing their treatments but were having trouble getting back in the workforce. “Not just the skills on how to do a resume or present yourself, but we want to give them a complete makeover and teach them skills that they can use for a lifetime,” Liner said.

The participants also received interview clothes that were donated by Freedom House. It's a 12-month residential drug addiction recovery program for women with children.

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