Jefferson County Prevention and Recovery Board: Creating Hope Through Careers 

Through a $250,000 ARC INSPIRE grant, the Jefferson County Prevention and Recovery Board in Appalachian Ohio will hire a peer workforce developer (PWD) to recruit and guide individuals in recovery toward job training and re-entry into the workforce, especially in high-demand entry-level jobs such as truck drivers, machinery operators, retail and restaurant workers, and peer recovery workers.   

The Career Continuum for Hope will benefit regional employers with a larger pool of  work-ready individuals. The newly hired PWD will help link job candidates with employment supports, job placement assistance, and wraparound services, acting as a point-person for those in recovery programs.  

With more than half of Ohio businesses reporting that the opioid crisis is negatively impacting their operations, the PWD will also identify individuals in Jefferson County as candidates to become certified peer recovery support (PRS) workers through training, certification, and internship opportunities to help to build the recovery network.   

With a ready workforce Appalachia is ripe for economic growth and development.


Research shows that peer recovery support workers have a transformative effect on both individuals and systems in the recovery process. In fact, peer support is known to improve quality of life, whole health, and overall cost of recovery services.   

“Appalachia has a workforce that faced and is continuing to overcome challenges with SUD,” said Jefferson County Prevention and Recovery Board Executive Director William Holt. “These individuals often have good skills and experience; and with needed supports, they re-enter the workforce of the many jobs that remain open. ” 

The project is expected to serve 750 workers in recovery during the two-year grant period, 32 of whom will obtain full-time jobs as certified peer recovery support workers and 20 in other job sectors.