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Rhode Island's Recovery Friendly Workplace Initiative 

The Rhode Island Recovery Friendly Workplace Initiative works with partners and employers to help address substance use and mental health conditions facing workforces and communities.

Learn About Membership

Our goal is to provide consulting, guidance, training, and technical support to help organizations implement evidence-based workplace practices and support for employees in treatment and recovery, those looking to enter treatment, and people in recovery looking to reengage the workforce.

The Rhode Island Recovery Friendly Workplace (RFW) Initiative acknowledges the critical role employers and institutions hold in elevating the importance of substance use and mental health conditions in the workplace and is dedicated to equipping them to address it.

Empowering workplaces to provide support for people recovering from substance use disorder

Led by Governor Dan McKee, Rhode Island’s “Recovery Friendly Workplace Initiative” promotes individual wellness for Ocean Staters by empowering workplaces to provide support for people recovering from substance use disorder.

Governor Mckee

RFW Learning Series Calendar

Fair Chance Hiring: Myths and Opportunities with More Than Our Worst and the Community College of Rhode Island

Rehana Lerandeau, MTOW and Jim Thompson, CCRI

In a moment of historic labor shortages in the US, employers are getting more strategic and creative in their approach to sourcing and retaining talent for their businesses. Simultaneously, the over 77 million Americans with a criminal record are suffering from an unemployment (or under-employment) rate worse than the Great Depression era - a staggering 27%. With employers desperate for talent and a workforce in dire need of meaningful opportunities, what is stopping what seems like an obvious and strategic match between employers of choice and top talent with records? In this brown bag session, More Than Our Worst’s Director of Employer Development - Rehana Lerandeau - will bust the top myths stopping employers from engaging in this skilled and readily available talent pool. She will be joined by CCRI’s Coordinator of Workforce Partnerships - Jim Thompson - who will highlight a successful fair chance case study between CCRI and Polaris MEP.

Join this session to:
• Bust myths that are preventing strong employer matches to top talent with criminal records
• See the work in action through a successful case study
• Learn more about how to get started with fair chance hiring

Panelists: Rehana Lerandeau, MTOW and Jim Thompson, CCRI

July 24 | 12 Noon | Cost: Free

Recent Blog Posts


For businesses considering adopting fair chance hiring, several strategies can facilitate a smooth transition:  


BIPOC Mental Health Awareness Month is not just a time for raising awareness; it is a call to action. It is a reminder that mental health disparities must be addressed, cultural stigmas must be broken, and equitable access to mental health care must be ensured.


 1. Expanding the Talent Pool: By removing initial barriers, employers can access a broader range of candidates, tapping into a pool of talented individuals who may have been overlooked.