Joe’s Story from the Business Side…

I have been in business now for 12+ years, and have used several 

different employment agencies. While these agencies have been helpful, they do not offer the hope for a better future for those that seek 

employment during sobriety treatment.

Retrofit careers is doing just that with everything from training for interviews to establishing accountability. Retrofit is an amazing opportunity for those who seek sobriety and employment. We are excited to use Retrofit for our new employees.

Having been sober myself for 22 years, I know the daily struggles. One thing I clearly remember from those early sobriety meetings is that I was told if I stayed sober, amazing things would happen. Here I am now, 

12+ years as the President of J.A. Vasaturo Fireproofing & Insulation, which I would say, is pretty amazing. I would like to be a part of creating more opportunities for those seeking sobriety and employment.

Joe V.

Business Owner & Employer

Bob’s Journey in Recovery…

Like many of us who have dealt with drugs and alcohol, our stories are long and complicated and it’s difficult to put into a few short paragraphs, but here goes…

I started smoking pot when I was in third grade and that quickly lead to drinking. By the time I was in high school I was doing so many different drugs I can’t remember what and when or where. I went to my first inpatient treatment program around seventeen but did not stay sober, but somehow managed to graduate high school. I thought the service might help and spent 10-years in the Navy and was honorably discharged, all the while drinking and doing whatever, whenever and wherever.

Two years later I enlisted in the Fire Department and stayed sober my first year as a recruit but soon wound up, like so many of us, thinking we were in control, are invincible and better than anyone around us. I picked back up, started drinking and using again, had problems at work and was even sent on a break in their Employee Assistance Program (EAP), only to stay sober a few months and eventually relapsing and picking back up.

That led to a total blackout…I was found one late night lifeless (Yes, I was clinically “dead”) under a dark, freezing cold freight train bridge, only to be brought back to life in the nick-of-time by Paramedics. Somehow I was alive but mentally, spiritually and physically handicapped for months on end. I could not count the change in my pocket, balance my checkbook, even walk. I was so bad I literally had to learn everything all over again…how to think, how to walk, just be alive. I could not feed myself, dress myself…just totally f’d up! I thought my career was over, my life, everything.

Today, through my God’s grace and will…and because of my family, fellow first-responders, friends and my lifelong support group, I am a 12-year veteran/11-years sober Firefighter, I still have my children and family, my friends. I enjoy my job, fishing, hunting, cycling, and yes, my Philadelphia Eagles!

But more and most importantly, I am over ten-years sober! Without my sobriety, I would not have any of it, or anyone. I would not be alive.

I don’t play with my life any longer. I don’t do drugs or drink alcohol.  You don’t have to either!

Robert G, Firefighter
Southeast Pennsylvania

“People in recovery make the best employees”…

I’m Doug Kiker. As i writef this, I’m 57 years old. I am from Philadelphia, born in North Philly and I attended a Catholic Grade school and started Catholic High sSchool. That is when drugs and alcohol really started to take a negative effect on my life. I should have seen the signs, but as a kid and a product of my environment, I thought It was completely nomal to drink and drug like I did. I was asked to leave that high school as a freshman. I finished high school at a public school by the skin of my teeth. I played in a band and met lots of other people who drank like I did. (Not the best environment for someone with addiction problems.)

I didn’t become a rock star. I married a wonderful woman and she stuck with me and for the next 20 years. My drinking took us both down a slow tortuous road and in June of 2005 I was at the end of my rope… literally. Ending it all seemed like a pretty good idea. By some miracle I wound up in a 12 step program and realized I was not unique and there was a way out.

Since that day in June of 2005 I haven’t had a drink or a drug and my life is now nothing short of FANTASTIC! I have not been cured (never will be). I live on a daily reprieve dependent on honesty and the promise to help others with their addiction problems. To that end I helped start ecoverycareers in order to help people in recovery find not just a job, but a career.

P.S. When rock star didn’t work out I got married, had 5 children and started in the construction field. Today I do the hiring and run the field for a large construction company. Over the years I have found the people I have hired who are in recovery make the best employees, maybe it’s the honesty or the gratefulness? I know given a chance people in recovery can be an asset for any employer.   


Doug KIker
Co-Flounder, RretrofitCareers, LLC
Chief Operations Officer, Dale Construction