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Pathways to Employment

A second chance for applicants who fail pre-employment drug screens

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Through the Pathways to Employment program, started in February 2018, if potential Belden employees at the Richmond, IN, plant are denied positions because of a failed drug test, they will be offered the opportunity to participate in a personalized drug rehabilitation program. Successful participation will lead to a job at Belden once the rehabilitation program is completed, along with a commitment to maintaining a substance-free lifestyle.

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Belden celebrates the one-year anniversary of Pathways to Employment by expanding the program to additional facilities. Read more.

The Community Partners

Manpower logo Ivy Tech Community College logo Belden Logo Meridian Health Services logoCenterstone logo

The Opioid Epidemic Impacts Companies and Individuals

With increasing frequency, employment opportunities go unfilled because applicants fail the drug tests required to meet our plant’s safety and technical needs. Vacant positions and extended hiring cycles may impact our ability to meet customers’ needs.

We remain committed to the safety of our employees and quality of our products. While some organizations are reducing their screening programs because of this epidemic, we knew that was not an option. At Belden, we worked toward a solution that supported the safety and high quality demands while also bettering the community and addressing our staffing needs.


Nearly 10% of Indiana citizens suffer from some form of substance abuse.


Drug overdose deaths involving opioids in Indiana totaled 2,322 between 2010 and 2015.

*Indiana State Department of Health

$1 Billion

The total cost of drug overdoses in Indiana tops $1 BILLION annually, measured in medical expenses and lifetime earnings losses.

*IU Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health 

1 out of 3

In Wayne county, 1 out of 3 babies born at Reid Hospital test positive for illicit drugs.

Related News

Comments by Surgeon General Jerome Adams regarding Pathways to Employment made at the March 1, 2018 U.S. Chamber of Commerce forum on initiatives that the business community, the public-sector and local communities are undertaking to combat the opioid epidemic.

Learn more about the event

Read additional coverage of the Pathways to Employment program:

 Click to view public comments shared via social media about the program.

A Community-Based Solution

Government and local authorities do what they can, but – after seeing a steady increase in the volume of drug-test failures and consulting with a prominent substance-abuse expert – we identified a constructive role for the private sector to play, too. Belden, supported by program partners Meridian Health Services, Centerstone Behavioral Health, Ivy Tech Community College and Manpower, developed a pilot project so we can “walk the walk” by helping potential employees who struggle with addiction get on the road to recovery.

Learn more about opioids and opioid addiction

Interested in learning more?

Contact Us

How The Program Works

We are hopeful that the efforts of Belden and our community partners will help our neighbors regain the confidence and self-respect that comes with recovery.


If a candidate fails the pre-employment drug screen, Manpower offers the candidate a referral to one of our healthcare providers for an assessment.


Candidate completes substance abuse screening(s), interview and assessment; a professional counselor recommends a treatment plan.


Based on progress, candidates complete an employment readiness assessment program and are provided information about how Ivy Tech Community College can prepare them for gainful employment.



Candidates who have successfully completed treatment are placed into jobs at Belden through Manpower. Pathways participants continue to receive drug tests to ensure they maintain a substance-free lifestyle. Their first job at the Belden plant is in a safety conscious role, which includes things like cleaning, organizing and 5S initiatives. After another series of drug tests, they move to a machine operating role.

The Belden Blueprint

We know that Belden is not unique in facing workplace challenges exacerbated by substance abuse. Our hope and our goal in sharing our experiences is to offer another option to organizations. We believe the Belden Blueprint can serve as a resource for companies to implement similar programs in communities impacted by addiction, without compromising on the need for a drug-free workforce.

Over the past month, representatives from Belden have presented at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Sharing Solutions conference and Indiana University School of Social Work’s Opioid: Data to Action conference. At these conferences, we’ve shared a case study detailing the program’s development and progress.

Download the Belden Blueprint

Download Our Case Study

Belden Named 2018 Finalist for U.S. Chamber Foundation Corporate Citizenship Award

Belden is honored to be named a finalist in the 2018 Corporate Citizenship Awards, Best Community Improvement Category in recognition of the Pathways to Employment Program.

Read more

White House Delegation Visits Belden to Study Pathways Program

On September 18, Second Lady Karen Pence, Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta, Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams and Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway visited the Richmond manufacturing plant to learn more about the Pathways to Employment program. The delegation met with Pathways program participants, toured the manufacturing plant and shared remarks with more than 200 Belden employees, community partners and local dignitaries.

Read the White House press release

Commentary: Helping Americans sidelined by opioid addiction and drug use get back to work

U.S. Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta and Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams share their thoughts on the Pathways to Employment program.

Click to read the article.

Who is Belden?

Belden is a global technology company focused on providing solutions for the reliable and secure transmission of data, audio and video that meet the ever-expanding needs of today’s commercial and domestic consumers across the globe. We have been manufacturing in Richmond, IN, since 1928. Belden’s Richmond plant produces high end broadcast industrial and network cables, employing approximately 450 individuals. Belden also has a distribution center and corporate office in the Richmond area, making us the second largest employer in Wayne County.

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