My guest today is Renee Schofield and she hails from Ketchikan Alaska, where she enjoys doing what she does best. She thrives on connecting employers and employees to resources to prevent traumatic situations from getting worse. Her company, Tongass Substance Screening, provide a number of services from drug and alcohol screening to suicide and trauma scene cleanup, a sensitive employment niche she describes in clinical, yet compassionate detail. But her role as a business community leader transcends the title of mere “connector” and runs deeper. Schofield thinks of herself as a “change point”. Connecting employers and recovering addicts with resources to assimilate them back into the workforce is not only an ancillary service that TSS is successful in cultivating, it is a personal passion for Schofield; one based on her own experiences as a mother.
It took Schofield’s daughter Lexi, a recovering methamphetamine addict, nearly eight months to find work in small town Ketchikan because of the stigma attached with recovery. “So often I hear people say of substance abusers and addicts, ‘if they’d had better parents…’ well, I am that parent.” Schofield admits that as an employer it is difficult to hire people in recovery. She would have had a difficult time hiring her own daughter right out of treatment.
“At first, I wasn’t ready. I’d been through hell and back. And with confidentiality issues, I wouldn’t have been able to anyway.” “There is a huge risk to hiring someone in recovery. Especially someone in early recovery,” Schofield said. “But they deserve a chance to get their life back on track.“