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Commodore Builders and the Herren Project Announce Expansion of Unique Industry Substance-Use

One-of-a-kind program offers free services to all employees, subcontractors and tradespeople working on Commodore construction sites

South Boston, MA – August 5, 2020 - Commodore Builders, a $400M veteran-owned Construction Management firm that builds some of Greater Boston’s most high-profile projects, and the Herren Project, a national nonprofit organization providing free resources for the treatment, recovery and prevention of substance use disorder, are proud to announce a major expansion of their substance-use disorder recovery program aimed at helping employees find treatment and resources to take the crucial first step in their journey towards recovery.
The program - the only one like it in the construction-industry - will now expand its free services for employees to each of the 500+ subcontractors/tradespeople working on Commodore Builders construction sites.
This expansion comes at a critical time in the battle against substance addiction: a recent paper reveals how the COVID-19 pandemic has halted much of the progress made by coalitions to expand treatment and recovery options and destigmatize substance addiction. This is particularly troubling for the construction industry, where workers are much more likely to become addicted to opioids and other substances as compared to workers in similar fields.
“With the help of our friends at the Herren Project, we’ve been able to establish a revolutionary program that’s designed to provide the necessary assistance to our employees, subcontractors and tradespeople who are battling, or have previously struggled with substance use disorder,” said Joe Albanese, CEO, Commodore Builders. “Now more than ever, it’s imperative that we allocate the resources necessary to support those who are most vulnerable, and providing treatment and therapy to anyone who needs it is certainly a step in the right direction.”
In recognition of the landmark initiative, the Commodore Builders and Herren Project teams held an event on Wednesday, August 5th at Commodore Builders’ construction site in South Boston, MA. Speakers included Commodore Builders CEO Joe Albanese, a U.S. Navy veteran and current Governor of Massachusetts Charlie Baker’s Chief Recovery Officer during the Merrimack Valley gas disaster; Chris Herren, a former Boston Celtic and the Founder of the Herren Project; Kevin Mikolazyk, Executive Director of the Herren Project; and Lisa Ulbrich, Vice President at Commodore Builders. Ulbrich, who has had personal struggles with substance addiction in the past, and has been through the recovery process, spoke to the power and impact of this program and its ability to change lives.
“Having come out on the other side of substance addiction, I know how invaluable these resources can be to someone in the throes of this unfortunate, yet incredibly common disease,” said Lisa Ulbrich, Vice President, Commodore Builders. “I’m very proud to help establish such a forward-thinking initiative alongside my colleagues at Commodore Builders and I hope that anybody who needs the help and has access to the program takes advantage of the recovery services that are now available to them.”
About Commodore Builders:
Commodore Builders is a $400M veteran-owned Construction Management firm that builds some of Greater Boston’s most high-profile projects in the commercial, life science, tenant interiors, and academic markets.  Commodore delivers on their clients’ complex needs by providing efficient, effective, and innovative solutions to eliminate surprises, elevate the project experience, and execute with excellence.
About Herren Project:
Herren Project is a national nonprofit organization providing free resources for the treatment,
recovery and prevention of substance use disorder. Herren Project was founded in 2011 by former professional basketball player, Chris Herren, who has been in long-term recovery since August 1, 2008.
Quick Facts on Drug Addiction:

  • According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 19.7 million American adults (aged 12 and older) battled a substance use disorder in 2017.
  • Almost 74% of adults suffering from a substance use disorder in 2017 struggled with an alcohol use disorder.
  • About 38% of adults in 2017 battled an illicit drug use disorder.
  • That same year, 1 out of every 8 adults struggled with both alcohol and drug use disorders simultaneously.
  • In 2017, 8.5 million American adults suffered from both a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder, or co-occurring disorders.
  • Drug abuse and addiction cost American society more than $740 billion annually in lost workplace productivity, healthcare expenses, and crime-related costs.