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Friends of Recovery of Delaware and Otsego Counties, Inc. Awarded $500,000 through Appalachian Regional Commission’s INSPIRE Initiative

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Rural Recovery Development Opportunities and Career Services (RR-DOCS) will support recovery-to-work and recovery ecosystem efforts in Chenango, Delaware, and Otsego Counties of New York by preparing the recovery workforce, expand employment opportunities for the recovery workforce, and offering ongoing Recovery Support Services.

Oneonta, December 16, 2021— Friends of Recovery of Delaware and Otsego Counties, Inc. (FOR-DO) was awarded $500,000 by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) to capitalize on current resources in the recovery community to increase the prevalence and quality of long-term recovery from Substance Use Disorder (SUD) as well as employment rates, retention and advancement in the workforce. The projects purpose will be achieved by: producing a qualified peer workforce, identifying existing gaps in Recovery Support Services and employer participation, work with employers in the tri-county area such as Raymond and Amphenol as well as assisting with transportation for pre-employment events and workshops. This is one of 17 projects receiving more than $5.5 million from INvestments Supporting Partnerships In Recovery Ecosystems (INSPIRE), an ARC initiative addressing Appalachia’s substance use disorder crisis (SUD) through projects that create or expand a recovery ecosystem leading to workforce entry or re-entry.

“I congratulate FOR-DO on their INSPIRE award and applaud their work in helping those in addiction recovery break the barriers to entering the workforce,” said ARC Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin. “The substance use disorder crisis isn’t only a health and family issue—it also has severe economic impacts, keeping many Appalachians from participating in the labor force and contributing to the region’s economic growth. With ARC’s INSPIRE initiative, we’re starting to change that. INSPIRE projects focus on creating recovery-friendly work environments, providing supports to both individuals in recovery and their employers, and training individuals to meet the demand in growing professions. When we help individuals in recovery succeed, our communities succeed.”

INSPIRE awardees will support the SUD recovery-to-employment continuum in 7 Appalachian states by training and certifying recovery specialists, establishing cross-sector community recovery partnerships, expanding peer recovery support networks, launching recovery-to-work programs with a full spectrum of coordinated support services, and more.

 “We are extremely excited and enthusiastic receiving this money to complete a combined $1,000,000 project with the sole purpose of getting individuals in recovery from SUD into the workforce. This is a big win for the recovery community throughout the three counties and will have a substantial economic impact for many years to come,” said Debra Berrios, FOR-DO’s Executive Director.

Since INSPIRE was established in April of 2021, ARC has invested $14.9 million in 47 projects. To continue supporting Appalachia’s recovery ecosystems, ARC will be issuing a request for proposals for a third round of INSPIRE awards in the coming weeks. Additional information and resources are available at arc.gov/SUD.

About the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) The Appalachian Regional Commission is an economic development partnership agency of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 423 counties across the Appalachian Region. ARC’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia.

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