Local plumbing company seeks to give second chances
The first time addiction touched the life of Hannah Moran it involved a cousin who worked in the family plumbing business.
Right Way Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning in Sedro-Woolley, led by Moran’s parents Ed and Allison Clark, had a decision to make: to support the employee and family member, or cut him loose.
“It all started with my cousin and some drug abuse,” said Moran, the public relations manager for the company. “It was the first time we, as a family and a company, had to deal with it.”
Ultimately, Moran said her parents gave her cousin another chance and helped him get into a rehab program.
He went through treatment, came back and was a great employee for many years, she said.
In the years since the company’s first experience with addiction in about 2001, Moran said Right Way Plumbing has hired or continued to employ about 10 others battling addiction and has helped them seek treatment.
“We really really lucked out,” she said. “If it hadn’t turned out the way it did, we probably wouldn’t have been so supportive.”
Moran said her father helps those employees who battle addiction connect with rehab centers and makes sure they maintain their health insurance while seeking treatment.
“That first time had a lot to do with my mom,” she said. “She was always willing to give someone 100 percent the benefit of the doubt.”
Moran’s brother, Logan Clark, who now runs the service side of the plumbing business, saw this compassion firsthand.
Logan Clark said he started using drugs in 2008 and became addicted in 2009 after the death of his mother.
“I chose to handle (grief) in not the most productive way,” he said.
In the years that followed, he spent time in and out of inpatient rehab centers, and whenever he returned he knew his family would be there to offer him work.
“They continually were willing to give me a chance,” he said. “I’d always come back with a job waiting for me.”
Logan Clark, who got sober in 2013, has tried to show the same compassion to others in the company who face addiction.
Part of Right Way Plumbing’s willingness to give employees second chances comes from the realities of the industry, Moran said.
“In our industry, it’s hard to get workers that want to do this for more than a couple years,” she said. “That’s part of why we offer them second chances.”
The kind of construction work her employees do is hard on the body, she said. The company doesn’t want to turn away those who want to work, even if their backgrounds make other companies hesitate.
Logan Clark said the company has taken its share of risks on employees, and those risks don’t always pan out. He said about half of those the company has offered to help stick to their recovery.
The ones that do, though, appreciate the job more than anyone else and have proven themselves to be dedicated, loyal workers, he said.
“If in fact they can leave the past in the past, you’re going to have someone that really appreciates their job,” Logan Clark said. “That individual is a different person completely than when they were high.”
For those trying to get their lives back, working is crucial, said Megan Kost, employment program coordinator with Community Action of Skagit County.
Kost and her staff help those who have run into trouble prepare for job interviews and find employment, she said. Right Way Plumbing is one of the companies that works with Community Action to find employees.
“Employment is essential,” she said. “It raises a person’s spirits and gives them the confidence they need to move forward.”
Giving people a second chance helps them take care of themselves, stay out of trouble and reduce recidivism, Moran said.
“Overall, I think it’s good for the whole community,” she said.
Moran called her brother a success story of Right Way Plumbing’s willingness to offer second chances.
She said all employees at the company deserve to be treated like family.
“We believe everyone deserves the same chance,” Moran said.