The Investments Supporting Partnerships In Recovery Ecosystems (INSPIRE) is an initiative addressing the substance use disorder (SUD) crisis by creating or expanding a recovery ecosystem that will lead to workforce entry or re-entry.
Donor Name: Appalachian Regional Commission
State: Selected States
County: Selected Counties
Type of Grant: Grant
Size of the Grant: $100,000 to $500,000
Grant Duration: 3 Years
Successful projects will support the post-treatment to employment continuum, which could include investments in healthcare networks that support substance abuse recovery professionals, recovery-focused job training programs, as well as initiatives designed to coordinate, or link, recovery services and training that support the recovery ecosystem, among others.
- Investments in healthcare networks and partnerships that support substance use recovery, as well as behavioral health professionals and employers
- SUD recovery-focused job training programs
- Initiatives designed to coordinate or link SUD recovery services and employment training.
The recovery ecosystem, within the context of building and strengthening economically resilient communities in Appalachia, is a complex linkage of multiple sectors, including but not limited to recovery communities, peer support, health and human services, faith communities, criminal justice, public safety, housing, transportation, education, and employers. The goal of the recovery ecosystem is to help individuals in recovery access the support services and training they need to maintain recovery and successfully obtain sustainable employment.
Projects that invest in workforce training should stress the potential for individuals in recovery to enter or reenter the workforce, or maintain employment, with a special emphasis on employment retention. This can be accomplished through basic and advanced training, hard and soft skills development, “upskilling,” and the establishment of clearly defined career pathways in training programs that accommodate continued employment growth.
Successful applications should demonstrate how the proposal addresses the following priorities to develop or expand a recovery ecosystem, and how this can enable and support an individual’s successful entry or reentry into the public and private workforce, while also addressing economic, workforce, and health-related impacts within the ARC region:
- Provide industry-specific training, job placement, and/or support activities to individuals affected by SUD to offer them a competitive advantage that could help to stabilize them and their families; utilize prevention-focused SUD activities that reduce future substance use or misuse and engage individuals in health and economic community-oriented activities;
- Create or expand linkages between workforce development organizations, training providers, organizations that provide post-SUD treatment wraparound services, businesses, local/state court systems (e.g., pre-trial diversion, drug courts), and other partners (e.g., mental health practitioners, faith-based entities) to assist people in recovery with maintaining their recovery as they enter or reenter the workforce;
- Create, expand, or leverage workplace programs and policies that support employees in recovery from SUD;
- Develop and expand industry partnerships that build and sustain the grant applicant’s organizational capacity; leverage available resources; and establish community-based approaches for addressing SUD workforce challenges and industry needs as they pertain to workforce entry and reentry;
- Deliver support services to assist employers and industry in meeting current and/or future workforce challenges to support the SUD recovery ecosystem;
- Develop and implement plans for strengthening partnerships/coalitions/consortiums with the addition of new partners (local, state, regional);
- Identify and assess SUD and behavioral health community needs, including the need for direct recovery services, employer engagement opportunities, the community’s capacity to support the provision of services, and input from those in recovery on service delivery;
- Identify and reduce barriers to the SUD recovery-to-work ecosystem, including but not limited to transportation, housing (e.g., transitional or recovery housing), childcare (to support engagement or reengagement in the workplace), and other support services (e.g., criminal record expungement);
- Align and integrate SUD plans, programmatic activities, and strategies with existing state, regional, or community health and economic development strategies; and
- Develop an ecosystem, through capacity building of health and workforce activities, to strengthen community interventions and enhance coordination of the SUD recovery-to-work model.
Types of Grants
- Implementation Grants
- The Appalachian Regional Commission expects to make implementation awards in amounts up to $500,000 for each project it awards within the congressionally defined Appalachian Region. In addition to programmatic delivery, applicants can request funding to support minor construction incidental to their proposed projects (e.g., new painting, electricity modifications or accessories, expanding square footage, building recovery beds); however, these will be thoroughly reviewed for appropriateness and applications with substantial construction components will not be funded. Applicants can also determine the required time period necessary to meet the objectives of their projects. The period of performance for awards under this funding announcement may be up to three years (36 months) if warranted by the size and scope of the project.
- Planning Grants
- In addition to implementation grants, planning grants in amounts up to $50,000 each are available to assist communities and regions in the Appalachian Region to develop plans and strategies for expanding or creating a recovery ecosystem. The period of performance for planning grants may be up to 18 months if warranted by the scope of the project.
Implementation Grants: Eligible Activities
Throughout the Region, organizations have developed and implemented successful models for creating recovery ecosystems and building recovery capital, including a focus on entry or reentry into the workforce for individuals recovering from SUD. The purpose of the INSPIRE Initiative is to support implementation or expansion and replication of these best practices. These types of projects have strong cross-sector engagement that results in the creation, improvement, or expansion of a recovery community.
Eligible activities may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Organizations with linkages to various stakeholders, which may include employers, social services, treatment/recovery services, criminal justice organizations, local/state court systems, educational institutions, training providers, vocational supports, workforce development boards, chambers of commerce, and business development agencies, among others as appropriate;
- Peer support systems, if other funding sources, such as private or federal health insurance reimbursement, are not available (e.g., peer recovery specialists, 24/7 access to peer support services);
- Health/behavioral health networks that support SUD recovery (e.g., federally qualified health centers; SUD prevention, treatment, and recovery private and nonprofits; local or state departments of health and human services; mental health; public health; substance use; public safety/criminal justice);
- Job and vocational skills training programs (e.g., classroom, on-the-job) that have a demonstrated focus on serving those in recovery and incorporate recovery services with appropriate evaluation measures;
- Recovery-to-work transportation, housing, and childcare solutions (if other local or state funding sources are not available);
- Liaison positions that educate and strengthen collaboration and participation among employers and reduce stigma associated with employer engagement and willingness to hire and/or retain those in SUD recovery;
- Workforce development agencies;
- Supportive services such as temporary housing (e.g., recovery housing, transitional housing), income support, and soft and hard skills development;
- Evaluation of project and program outcomes, including but not limited to proposed funding activities and recovery ecosystem practices and policies (applicants may utilize universities or colleges, contractors, or other appropriate partners for this effort); and
- Innovative pilot concepts designed to address the economic impacts of the substance use crisis in Appalachia.
Planning Grants: Eligible Activities
Planning grants will provide support to grantees to explore activities that could be implemented in their region and to develop a plan to expand or create a recovery ecosystem. Activities may include the following:
- Developing strategies/plans for strengthening partnerships/coalitions/consortia with the addition of new partners;
- Conducting community needs assessments, including input from those in recovery (in addition to exploring the need for direct recovery services, the assessment should explore the community’s infrastructure to support this effort, including housing, transportation, and social services);
- Identifying, through workforce modeling, gap analysis, or other research-based practices, the current workforce gaps and challenges and/or future workforce demands within the community, state, or region to inform current and future recovery-to-work activities;
- Developing short-term/long-term training and employment readiness and retention plans (which may include metrics for credentialing in high-demand occupations and wage progression);
- Developing education programs for employers about human resource policies, positive supervisory practices, and development of methods to organize and use employee peer support services to support employer engagement in this ecosystem;
- Developing service delivery and sustainability plans; and
- Evaluating SUD recovery-to-work programs, policies, and practices that build on emerging, promising, and/or evidence-based practices in the field.
Eligible applicants for ARC’s INSPIRE Initiative grants include the following:
- Local development districts (LDDs)
- Indian tribes or a consortium of Indian tribes
- States, counties, cities, or other political subdivisions of a state, including a special purpose unit of a state or local government engaged in economic or infrastructure development activities, or a consortium of political subdivisions
- Institutions of higher education or a consortium of institutions of higher education
- Public or private nonprofit organizations or associations.
For more information, visit ARC.