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Seventeen Spectrum employees recently celebrated the advancement of their careers, while helping ease an ongoing national shortage of qualified substance use and addictions workers.  On January 25, Spectrum held a graduation ceremony to recognize those employees who received certificates for completing a company-sponsored Addiction Counselor Education (ACE) program.  These certifications are increasingly required by state-funded agencies for persons working in the addictions treatment field.

"This is an achievement for you, but it is just the first step," Spectrum President & CEO Chuck Faris told the graduates and a large audience of their family members and coworkers. "We hope you now see your work not just as a job, but a career," he added.

Participants were required to complete six nine-week courses, for three hours per week, a 272-hour practicum, as well as considerable take-home work. Spectrum partnered with Westfield State University to provide the onsite Addiction Counselor Education (ACE) program. A $46,850 grant from the Massachusetts Division of Career Services Workforce Training Fund helped support the 18-month-long ACE program.

"We know the commitment it takes -- coming to class after a full day of work and being away from your family," Spectrum Executive Vice President of Clinical Services Peter Paolantonio told the graduates. "You're doing it because you want to be better at your job, and you want other people to get better," he added.

Graduates are now eligible to apply to the Massachusetts Board of Substance Abuse Counselor Certification to take the State Exam and become a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC) and/or Certified Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor (CADAC).

"I feel very fortunate to be employed by a company that encourages, invests in and promotes its employees," said graduate Charles Benton, a direct-care employee at Spectrum's Clinical Stabilization Services program in Weymouth, Massachusetts.

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Spectrum Health Systems, Inc. is a private, not-for-profit substance abuse treatment and mental health service organization with corporate headquarters in Worcester, Massachusetts. The company currently operates more than 110 treatment programs in community and institutional settings throughout Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maryland, Georgia, Tennessee, Iowa and Washington State.

CONTACT: 
Andrew Strecker, Development Associate 
(508) 792-5400 x7113                                                                                                                                                                 andrew.strecker@spectrumsys.org