CREDIT: Ralph Barrera/ American-Statesman
Photo: Austin American-Statesman
Photo: Austin American-Statesman

Karen Pence to visit Richmond, Ind., firm to highlight its drug addiction program

Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams, and Kellyanne Conway, senior counsel to President Trump, will join Mrs. Pence. 

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The visit, which will not be open to the public, will highlight Belden’s Pathways to Employment program, which the Richmond Palladium-Item reports is an example of a new, innovative way an American business is working to create a community-based solution to address the challenge drug addiction is having on their business and community. 

The White House confirmed Friday the second lady's planned visit, part of an effort by the Trump administration to maintain a dialogue about the ongoing opioid crisis in the United States. 

According to the Palladium-Item, Belden was selected after company officials introduced a pilot version of their Pathways program in February. The program is for employees and new hires at the Richmond plant who fail drug screenings or go to the company's human resources officers with a substance abuse problem. 

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The approach has been praised by local, state and national leaders as a potential model for other companies to follow.

The program, paid for by Belden and through insurance, costs an average of $5,000 per employee, but the cost varies depending on the needs of each person enrolled. 

There are separate pathways for low-risk and high-risk workers. Each employee is given a specific, highly-structured program to follow in order to get back to work. 

Richmond and Wayne County were part of the district Vice President Mike Pence served during his time in the U.S. House.

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