WASHINGTON – Last week, the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) awarded $1,100,000 to Ohio University to invest in the Appalachian Recovery Project: An Ohio Opioid Workforce Initiative. Representative Steve Stivers (OH-15) applauded the ARC announcement as a positive step towards providing quality recovery programs for those suffering from substance abuse, so that they can ultimately rejoin the workforce.
“This investment will not only make strides in improving the substance abuse recovery system for women in southeast Ohio, it will create a network to help women navigate re-entry into the workforce,” Stivers said. “I’ve heard from many constituents and job creators about the need for qualified employees. This initiative will help our community by immediately training the employees to fill positions with our local businesses. I am proud to support the Ohio Opioid Workforce Initiative and Ohio University to enhance opioid recovery programs for women and to spur economic development in our region.”
Representative Stivers worked to ensure that funding for ARC grants was included in this year’s appropriations so that worthy projects in the Appalachian region of Ohio’s 15th Congressional District, including Athens, Hocking, Morgan, Perry, and Vinton counties, could benefit from these grants. This initiative will work to coordinate a regional network of treatment, recovery, and workforce programs for women impacted by substance abuse.
This initiative complements ongoing efforts to repurpose the Hocking Correctional Unit into a multi-use facility to provide the wrap-around care necessary to help those suffering from addiction in southeast Ohio. The project is expected to create over 140 new jobs. Last year, Representative Stivers facilitated a forum and listening session to discuss the future of the facility and remains an active partner and resource for local officials as the project progresses.
The Appalachian Recovery Project: An Opioid Workforce Initiative is one of three awards made possible by the Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) to further their mission to get coal-related jobs back to improve America’s energy production. This project will serve 300 patients, place 27 community health worker trainees in permanent positions, create 31 jobs, and offer workforce or vocational programming to 95 clients.