KCEOC Community Action Partnership Awarded $500,000

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.

Gray, KY November 16, 2021— KCEOC Community Action Partnership awarded a $500,000 Grant Amount by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC). This grant will fund the Southeast Kentucky Partnership for Restoration project, providing post-recovery education for participants in the Appalachian Restoration Project’s six-month residential programs. 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.

The INSPIRE/ARC project, is a partnership between KCEOC-CAP, Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College, and the Appalachian Restoration Project, is vital for the future of Knox County and surrounding areas. The communities of Southeastern Kentucky have long suffered from poverty, unemployment, under-employment, and substance addiction, largely as a result of the declining coal industry. This project offers a solution by providing fast-track educational opportunities in highly skilled fields such as construction trades, cyber security, fiber optics, early childhood development, customer service, and others.

“I congratulate KCEOC CAP 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.”

“The people of eastern KY have suffered in the shadows of addiction long enough. The INSPIRE Initiative grant will provide the funding necessary for us to generate a blueprint to build a bridge between those in the recovery and the workforce. I am grateful to the Appalachia Restoration Project, Inc and Southeast KCTCS for their continued partnership on another vital area of growth for this region.”-Paul Dole, CEO/President, KCEOC Community Action Partnership.

“We are thankful for the opportunity provided to our clients through the INSPIRE grant award from ARC. Recovery to work is an important part of healing in our communities. Hope City and Redemption Road are excited to partner with KCEOC and Southeast KCTCS in the fight against substance abuse"– Derrick Phipps, Chief Financial Officer Appalachian Restoration Project, Inc.

“At Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College, we serve as a beacon of hope for the regions most vulnerable, and providing recovery-to-work programming is an important part of our mission,” said Southeast President Dr. Vic Adams. “We are deeply appreciative that our longtime partners at KCEOC Community Action Partnership are among the recipients of ARC’s INSPIRE grant. These funds will enable us to work together and serve our students in recovery well into the future.”

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 KCEOC Community Action Partnership

As one of the original 23 Community Action Agencies formed in 1964 after President Lyndon Johnson declared a “War on Poverty,” KCEOC Community Action Partnership has been helping others help themselves for over 56 years. This help has come in many forms, from early childhood education, to housing and food assistance, to weatherizing homes, to providing emergency services. The agency has served thousands of area residents in need and is constantly developing new programming to meet those needs, as well as serving as an advocate and voice for those who need a hand up.

With an original service area of one county, KCEOC now provides services in 16 counties in eastern and central Kentucky. We are constantly adapting our service delivery model to accommodate the rapidly changing times we are in and are able to provide services in the direst circumstances.

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.