Lucas Bradshaw, left, Delta Council Trades and Labor Council, and Delta County Prosecutor Phil Strom are working together on a “Handcuffs to Hard Hats” program for drug addicts.
ESCANABA – A participant in the Delta County Drug Court is taking part in an apprentice program with a union in the Delta County Trades and Labor Council.
It’s through a program created by Lucas Bradshaw called “Handcuffs to Hard Hats.” He hopes to have participants eventually be a part of the crews that build the new jail and Sheriff’s office in Escanaba.
“We have the opportunity to put people to work on the brand new jail construction project. Not too many people talk about the irony of it but I think it’s not irony but opportunity,” said Bradshaw. “That where we’d like to start this program.”
The first participant has been accepted in the painters union and is working with a local contractor.
Delta County Prosecutor Phil Strom says those who are successfully completing the drug court are the best candidates for the apprentice program.
“We don’t want to send the trades a person that isn’t ready and isn’t sober and healthy and could potentially be a bad representation of who are going to be referring. So, we have been utilizing the people who have proven some long-term sobriety and who have not demonstrated violent criminal histories,” Strom said.
Participants in the Handcuffs to Hard Hat program need to go through an application and interview process and meet the requirements of the unions.
Bradshaw hopes its a program that other communities will eventually pick up.