The Westport House Career Development Program

In Announcements by Admin

Helping Young Men in Early Recovery Navigate the Challenges of Reintegrating Back Into the Workforce.

For our young male demographic, developing a sense of attachment to their own unique process of recovery is a vital step towards them fully acclimating and embracing their new sober lifestyle.  When individuals arrive at Westport House, they sometimes lack the confidence and motivation for growth due to failed attempts in school, employment, and everyday responsibilities. Therefore, one of our primary challenges is to foster a renewed sense of confidence and concurring motivation in these young men in order to have them re-examine their life and prioritize the goals that they see for themselves, the most common of which being embodied by a process that many young people in early recovery encounter and often struggle with; transitioning back into the workplace.

To address this important, developmental step in the lives of our young male residents, we coordinate both group and individual employment consulting sessions for each individual. In addition to helping the young man work though this stage of development, our experience has shown that a young adult who has found purpose and dedication in their career and/or volunteer opportunity often has this success and sense of fulfillment translate into other aspects of their recovery as well.

Experienced Leadership

Leading the effort in our resident’s career development is Jennifer Broadbin, Director of Career Development. Jenn’s professional background includes many years as a successful senior advertising executive with a number of Fortune 100 companies. Here she describes how she works with our young men in a variety of different ways:

“As the Director of Career Development for the Westport House, I help clients bridge the gap between unsuccessful adaptation of environments to a reintegration into the community, utilizing a phased approach. The bridge to employment is individually constructed for each client through my own personal experience and through a holistic approach to the process; by understanding client’s past experience, identifying barriers to employment, consulting with counselors and families, and then integration based on a 12-step recovery approach.”

As part of our holistic approach to career development, we emphasize the following:

  • Body: Appearance – preparing an individual for interviews and the identification of possible barriers of employment (body language, appearance, hygiene, eye contact, etc.).
  • Mind: Attitude – how much cognitive stress is given to rejections or resentments, how can we quickly adjust our attitude in job interviews or the workplace, how to effectively communicate and follow-up with colleagues and/or superiors, etc.
  • Spirit: Internal motivations and the production of secondary learnings, such as getting along with others, acceptance, fears, emotional natures, etc.

Jenn continues, “Through a comprehensive in-take process, we review past employment, educational experience, “set-backs” such as criminal history, and possible disabilities. By doing this we are able to provide additional resources and supports, using, if necessary, resources obtained through the State of Connecticut-Department of Rehabilitative Offices.”

Employment Opportunities in Westport

Numerous employment opportunities are available in Westport, with dozens of mom-and-pop shops, local chains and national retailers, distinctive eateries, and indoor and outdoor entertainment venues. Westport is also headquarters for many well-known companies in the investment management, manufacturing, media, advertising, marketing, food service, and venture capital industries. 

Building On Our Experience

Looking to the future, we’re excited about expanding our relationships with local companies and organizations, particularly non-profits, in order to provide our residents with even more opportunities from which to choose. 

 “Since launching the Career Development program earlier this year, we have had an 83% placement rate.  During the next 6 months, we look to improve on that statistic with a goal of placing 100% of our eligible residents, allowing for reintegration into the workplace and more importantly, aiding in the successful transition back to an independent, sober lifestyle for each young man residing at Westport House.”, said Al Samaras, our Executive Director.

To learn more about our Career Development program or other aspects of the Westport House sober living program , please contact Molly Ashcroft at 203.293.1589 x103 or by email at