ARC’s INSPIRE Initiative: Investing in Recovery-to-Work

The INvestments Supporting Partnerships In Recovery Ecosystems (INSPIRE) Initiative is a $10 million initiative addressing the substance abuse crisis by creating or expanding a recovery ecosystem that will lead to workforce entry or re-entry. 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.

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, 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.

Request for Proposals

ARC is accepting applications for the INvestments Supporting Partnerships In Recovery Ecosystems (INSPIRE) Initiative.

Substance Abuse is a Workforce Development Issue

In 2018, Appalachia had an overdose mortality rate among people ages 15-64 that was 48 percent higher than the rest of the country, and the opioid-related overdose mortality rate in Appalachia was 46 percent higher than the rest of the country. Those struggling with recovery from substance use disorders often encounter numerous barriers to entering, or re-entering, the workforce. Together, these factors can have significant impact of workforce potential and economic growth.

In 2019, ARC seated the Substance Abuse Advisory Council (SAAC) to address the disproportionate impact substance abuse continues to have on the Region’s workforce in comparison to the rest of the country. The Council is a volunteer group of leaders from recovery services, health, economic development, private industry, education, state government, law enforcement, and other sectors representing each of the Region’s 13 states. In September 2019, the Council offered guiding recommendations to ARC for addressing the workforce impacts of Appalachia’s substance abuse epidemic. Many of the recommendations’ key themes were drawn from six Recovery-to-Work Listening Sessions hosted by ARC December 2018–April 2019.

INSPIRE Initiative Application Workshop

Join us for this 3-session workshop to learn more about ARC’s INvestments Supporting Partnerships in Recovery Ecosystems (INSPIRE) Initiative. These three sessions will give applicants a greater understanding of the INSPIRE Initiative, the qualities of a well-rounded application, and how other organizations play a role in recovery ecosystems throughout the Region.

How to Apply

Application guidance and requirements are outlined in the INSPIRE Initiative RFP.

Key Dates

September 3, 2020: INSPIRE Application Open

October 6, 2020, 11 am (ET): Online Application Workshop Begins

October 16, 2020, 5pm (ET): INSPIRE Initiative Letter of Intent (LoI) Submission Deadline (Submit to

November 13, 2020, 5pm (ET): INSPIRE Initiative Final Application Deadline (Final application submission instructions will be issued once Letter of Intent is accepted)

For questions about the INSPIRE Initiative, please email

Pre-Application Requirements


ARC grant applications require a DUNS (Data Universal Numbering System) number.
If you need a DUNS number, call the toll-free DUNS Number request line at 1-866-705-5711 or visit


All ARC grant applicants must have an active registration in SAM (System for Award Management). Register in SAM at

Application Resources

Application Guidance

ARC Administrative Resources

Additional Research and Data Resources