Local lawmakers and statewide talent development officials recognize man’s recovery

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published April 24, 2021

 Ray Lane

Ray Lane

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SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Local lawmakers and talent development officials recently celebrated a local man’s successful recovery from addiction to returning to the workforce.

They gathered virtually on Wednesday, March 31, for the Michigan Works! Association Impact Awards to recognize people including Macomb County resident Ray Lane and Macomb/St. Clair Michigan Works!

After losing his job due to addiction, Lane spent time in a residential treatment center. It was there that he found a peer coach who helped him with an individual recovery plan. He said he was honored by the recognition.

“I appreciate the help that I had gotten from Michigan Works! as far as obtaining a job, and I’d also like to thank Emily Kinzy at CARE. She was very vital in my recovery,” he said.

Lane’s individual recovery plan included enrollment in the Peer Supported Employment Opportunity Program, which is a U.S. Department of Labor grant-funded project that the Macomb/St. Clair Workforce Development Board administers. The Peer Supported Employment Opportunity Program aims to help Macomb County residents who have a history of opioid use that impacts their ability to maintain employment.

Locally, the Macomb/St. Clair Workforce Development Board partners with CARE of Southeastern Michigan, Macomb County Community Corrections and the Macomb County Circuit Court-Drug Court to offer the program.

Macomb/St. Clair Michigan Works! staff provided Lane with job placement assistance and case management, and he was able to find work with a reaction injection molding company that offered on the job training.

Hired to be a material handler at Romeo Rim, Lane completed 480 hours of training funded with the PSEOP grant. He has been employed with the company since June 2020 and received an 8.5% pay increase during that time.

“Substance use is no longer a part of my life,” Lane said in a press release. “Michigan Works! helped me to return to work and get on a good path that contributed to my sobriety structure in life.”

Lane has weekly meetings with Kinzy, from CARE of Southeastern Michigan.

“Ray kept showing up for himself, putting his recovery first,” Kinzy said in the release. “He is determined and wants to do well. Working with both Michigan Works! and regularly with his recovery coach showed that he was dedicated to success.”

John Bierbusse, the executive director at Macomb/St. Clair Michigan Works!, said he would like to congratulate Lane for being this year’s Impact Award Winner.

“I’m so impressed by your accomplishments and your perseverance to tackle difficult barriers to achieve your goals,” he said.

Award winners included employers, workers, Michigan Works! organizations and partners.

“I am so glad that we had a chance to have a positive impact on Ray’s life. I am also glad that Ray has had the opportunity to receive the award for Macomb and St. Clair County Michigan works!” said Bierbusse.

State Rep. Doug Wozniak, R-Shelby Township, praised Lane’s hard work.

“I commend Ray for his strength and devotion to overcoming some of the toughest barriers in existence. It is so great to see that the Peer Supported Employment Opportunity Program is working so well and helping individuals like Ray successfully recover from substance abuse and return to the workforce,” he said in a press release.

The Macomb/St. Clair Workforce Development Board administers the Michigan Works! Service System in Macomb and St. Clair counties.

For more information, visit www.michiganworks.org/michigan-works-network or call (800) 285-9675.

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