#Duckumentary - Kevin Smith

Carpentry Foreman, Kevin Smith, talks about the strength our family is able to provide to those fighting the disease of addiction.

Kevin leads his crew out on site at the Newark Airport Terminal Expansion project and leads his fellow EDA Family members as Co-Founder of the EDA PACT Program.

The purpose of the EDA PACT Program is to encourage safe and competent job performance through the identification of inappropriate use of alcohol or drugs. This policy will provide the steps needed for entering treatment and then returning to work upon successful completion.

The health and wellness of EDA employees are top priority and safety is our number one concern. We pride ourselves on providing our staff with safe working environments. We encourage all members of the EDA family to self-identify their substance abuse issues, assist them in seeking treatment, and facilitate reentry into the field or workplace when appropriate.

How did you approach Ed DeAngelis with the idea to start the EDA Pact Program?

At my first EDA Town Hall in June 2018, I heard Rich Kinkade speak and immediately knew he was a using addict. To others, it may not have been recognizable, but addictive behaviors and tendencies are hard to hide to those who have lived them. I went about my business and thought nothing of it until the December Town Hall when Rich’s mom and brother came to talk about his death which was a direct result of active addiction. At that same function, Ed spoke openly about a issue we had at a job site. After thinking about this, I emailed Ed to let him know that I was in recovery and would be willing to help anyone who needed it.

Do you have someone who inspired you to start the EDA Pact Program?

The company’s compassion towards workers who were addicts and the willingness to address addiction directly coupled with my own personal experience in recovery and a 12 step fellowship inspired me to want to do more. At first, my thoughts were to bring a recovery meeting to the company and spread the word that if you wanted help or just someone to talk to, I was available. That thought quickly grew into the Pact Program.

Do you have suggestions for people who are struggling with addiction?

Give yourself a break. Help is available to end the battle. Use the resources that are available through EDA and get the help you need. You will not be judged.

How has your sobriety positively impacted your friends and family?

As a result of being sober, people want me around today and trust me.

What was the moment you decided you needed to make a change?

Two weeks into treatment, there were outside recovery meetings coming to the facility through the Hospital and Institutions program. The speakers in those meetings seemed just like me and I could identify with what they were saying. I was starting to feel better physically, and my mental state was starting to change. All of my enablers had closed the door on me, so I decided to give recovery a chance.