Appalachian Regional Commission Seeks Applicants Addressing Substance Use Disorder Recovery-to-Work Efforts

$10 million available for ARC INSPIRE Initiative Grants to Help Appalachian Communities and Economies Thrive

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 24, 2022 — Today the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), a federal-state partnership working to strengthen economic growth and community development in 13 Appalachian states, issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for its INvestments Supporting Partnerships In Recovery Ecosystems (INSPIRE) Initiative. The grant program addresses the region’s substance use disorder crisis with investments of $10 million in the creation and expansion of a recovery ecosystem that helps facilitate workforce entry and re-entry.  

Awards issued through the INSPIRE Initiative will support a wide variety of projects on the post-treatment to employment continuum, including investments in healthcare networks to better meet the needs of substance use disorder recovery professionals, recovery-focused job and workforce training programs, expanded recovery support networks, training and certification of recovery specialists, and more.  

 “The substance use disorder epidemic is a community problem that requires a community solution,” said ARC Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin. “Our INSPIRE Initiative promotes a fluid continuum of rehabilitation—to training, to work, to career—which ultimately connects all aspects of the community and provides hope, purpose, and support to these individuals.”   

Since INSPIRE was established in April of 2021, ARC has invested $15.7 million in 49 projects covering 197 Appalachian counties. 

Successful INSPIRE grant applications will demonstrate the potential for individuals in recovery to obtain and maintain stable employment, with a focus on contributing to and expanding a strong recovery ecosystem of support services and training opportunities that lead to successful entry and re-entry into the workforce. Proposals may also include expanded community- and partnership-based approaches to establish stronger coordination among recovery and training services, as well as strategies to integrate plans with existing state and regional economic development activities.  

“The INSPIRE Initiative is vital to helping those struggling with substance abuse across Appalachia,” said ARC States’ Co-Chair Maryland Governor Larry Hogan. “Programs like these are vital to giving those in recovery a second chance.” 

Letters of Intent (LOI) for implementation grants up to $500,000 and planning grants up to $50,000 under INSPIRE are due March 3, 2022. The deadline for final applications is March 24, 2022. Award announcements are anticipated to be made in early August 2022. Additional information regarding the application process is available at

About the Appalachian Regional Commission 
The Appalachian Regional Commission is an economic development 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 to help the Region achieve socioeconomic parity with the nation.