Western Virginia Workforce Development Board awarded $300K through Appalachian Region’s INSPIRE Initiative

Alleghany Highlands News

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) recently awarded the Western Virginia Workforce Development Board $300,000 to develop and enhance the recovery ecosystem for individuals affected by substance abuse in the Alleghany Highlands.

According to a statement released by Western Virginia Workforce Development Board on Monday, April 5, Project Recovery will provide participants around Alleghany County, Craig County, and Covington with one-on-one counseling and support, comprehensive assessments to determine their needs, training and skill development, and employment placement.

Officials say this is one of 30 projects receiving more than $9.4 million from the INvestments Supporting Partnerships in Recovery Ecosystems (INSPIRE) Initiative, which serves to address Appalachia’s substance abuse crisis by creating or expanding a recovery ecosystem that will lead to workforce entry or re-entry.

“I congratulate the Western Virginia Workforce Development Board for their INSPIRE award and commend them for their role in addressing the economic impacts of Appalachia’s substance abuse crisis,” said ARC Federal Co-Chairman Tim Thomas. “ARC INSPIRE partners will help individuals in recovery obtain sustainable employment, further encouraging economic resiliency in the communities that will be served. As ARC looks to the second round of this funding initiative, I encourage all interested applicants in the Region to send us your ideas.”

“As a doctor and as governor, I have seen the impact of the substance abuse crisis, which has significantly affected our entire Commonwealth,” said Gov. Ralph Northam in a statement applauding the funding from the Appalachian Regional Commission last week. “We need a focused, regional approach to reducing addition and supporting recovery. The INSPIRE Initiative will help build a more resilient and thriving Appalachia, and I am proud of the strong collaborative efforts of our regional partners through Appalachian Virginia to bring this federally supported program to their communities.”

“I am thrilled for the Alleghany Highlands region to receive this funding and support from the ARC and know that it will go far in helping us create and implement Project Recovery,” said Morgan Romeo, Executive Director of the Western Virginia Workforce Development Board. “We know that by working together, we can assist individuals impacted by substance abuse in connecting with the workforce development system to further drive self-sufficiency and successful recovery.”

To continue supporting Appalachia’s recovery ecosystems, officials say ARC is looking for applicants for a second round of INSPIRE funding of up to $10 million. If you are interested in applying, you are encouraged to attend a pre-application workshop on April 27.

Letters of Intent (LOI) to apply for INSPIRE funding are due in PDF form to SUD@arc.gov by 5 p.m. on May 17, but the deadline for final applications is not until 5 p.m. on June 18.

Officials expect award announcements will be made this fall.

You can find additional information and resources at arc.gov/SUD.

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