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Slice of Hope: Oneonta pizza pioneer hires recovering addicts

Jennifer Grigoli is a pizza pioneer in Oneonta.

Posted: Jun 20, 2019 5:45 PM

Jennifer Grigoli is a pizza pioneer in Oneonta.

"We were the first business to offer a recovery friendly workplace in oneonta," says the owner of Sal's Pizzeria. "When we took over the pizzeria from other parts of our family, we just made a decision that we want to offer opportunities for people who are in recovery."

Grigoli's bold move wasn't without consequences.

"I do have people who won't come to my pizzeria because they know that I do have felons that work for me, but they've done their time already and they're doing a great job so I'm very happy, I'm very happy with the decisions that we've made. Very."

Grigoli is one of several people in the community who joined a conversation about workforce recovery, Thursday, in Oneonta. Among them, Filmmaker Jessica Vecchione, whose short film, "A Slice of Hope: Recovery-Friendly Employment in Oneonta, New York," features Grigoli and her business.

"My feeling is we know about what the epidemic is. We know what the needles and spoons look like. We need to know what the community is doing to get people back into the community," said Vecchione.

The Otsego County Chamber of Commerce hosted Thursday's gathering.

"The Otsego County Chamber of Commerce supports employment. We want to see people in jobs and I think it's important that we talk about workforce recovery," said Chamber President and CEO, Barbara Ann Heegan.

While the risks of hiring those in recovery are tangible for Grigoli, so are the benefits.

"You get people who are grateful and hard workers and that really has been a wonderful thing for us. We've really created a wonderful family."

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