This funding record is inactive. Please see the program website or contact the program sponsor to determine if this program is currently accepting applications or will open again in the future.

Investments Supporting Partnerships in Recovery Ecosystems Initiative (INSPIRE)



Letter of Intent (Required): Feb 16, 2024
Application Deadline: Mar 8, 2024


Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC)


Offers funding to address substance use by creating or expanding a recovery ecosystem that can lead to workforce entry or re-entry for individuals in recovery from substance use disorder (SUD). Supports the development of recovery ecosystems comprised of recovery communities, peer support, healthcare, human services, law enforcement, and other community stakeholders to help individuals enter or re-enter the workforce during the transition from SUD treatment into sustainable recovery.

Required INSPIRE program priorities include:

  • Industry-specific training, job placement, and support activities to individuals with SUD
  • Create or expand linkages between workforce development organizations, training providers, post-SUD wraparound service providers, businesses and other partners to assist people in recovery with maintaining their recovery entering or re-entering the workforce
  • Create or expand workplace programs and policies that support employees in recovery from SUD
  • Develop or expand partnerships with industry to develop organizational capacity, leverage resources, and implement community-based approaches for addressing SUD workforce challenges and industry needs as they pertain to workforce entry and re-entry
  • Provide support services to strengthen the recovery ecosystem and help employers address workforce issues
  • Develop and implement plans to enhance existing partnerships, coalitions, or consortia through the addition of new partners
  • Assess and identify community SUD and behavioral health needs, including information on direct recovery services, local service capacity, and input from individuals currently in recovery on service delivery
  • Efforts to identify and reduce barriers to the SUD recovery-to-work ecosystem, such as transportation, transitional or recovery housing, childcare, criminal record expungement, and other support services
  • Align SUD plans, programmatic activities, and strategies that are aligned and integrated with existing state, regional, or community health and economic development strategies
  • Develop an ecosystem, through capacity building of health and workforce activities, to strengthen community interventions and enhance coordination of the SUD recovery-to-work model

Grants are offered under 2 funding categories:

  • Implementation Grants support projects seeking to implement, expand, or replicate successful models for establishing a recovery ecosystem focused on entry and re-entry into the workforce for individuals recovering from SUD. Funds can be requested for minor construction incidental to the project.
  • Planning Grants support the development of plans and strategies to build or expand a recovery ecosystem that will be implemented in the near future or after the grant ends. Funds may not be used for the delivery of programs or services.

Amount of Funding

Award ceiling:

  • $500,000 for implementation grants
  • $50,000 planning grants

Project period

  • Up to 3 years for implementation grants
  • Up to 18 months for planning grants

Applicants must provide matching funds from non-federal, other federal, or a combination of sources for the project. ARC maximum contributions are determined by ARC's classification of the county or counties served by the proposed project. Applicants may request up to 80% of the total project costs when the county served by a project is designated as economically distressed based on ARC's fiscal year (FY) 2024 County Economic Status in Appalachia classifications.

Who Can Apply

Eligible applicants include:

  • Local development districts
  • Indian tribes or a consortium of Indian tribes
  • States, counties, cities, or other political subdivisions of a state, including a special purpose unit of a state of local government engaged in economic or infrastructure development activities, or a consortium of political subdivisions
  • Institutions of higher education or a consortium of institutions of higher education
  • Public or private nonprofit organizations or associations

Current INSPIRE, and other ARC SUD grantees, are eligible to apply for INSPIRE FY 2024 funds only if the applicant's scope of work is new and does not overlap with a current open INSPIRE or other ARC SUD focused grant. For grantees with awards scheduled to be completed before October 1, 2024, new applications should include an expansion of geography, increased scope of work with an existing concept, or a proposal with a new concept.

Geographic Coverage

Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia

What This Program Funds

Capacity Building • New Program • Operating Costs and Staffing

Application Process

Application instructions, requirements, and other information about the application process are available in the program guidance.

A letter of intent (LOI) must be emailed to by February 16, 2024. After the LOI submission is confirmed, applicants will receive detailed instructions to formally submit the final application.

Prior to submitting the final application, every applicant is required to contact the ARC state program managers of the state(s) impacted by the project proposal to ensure the proposal aligns with Appalachian economic development priorities for each state served by the project.

Applications must be submitted online through the INSPIRE application portal.

Applicant webinar recording


For questions about the INSPIRE Initiative or use of agency funds to support projects:
Contact the state program manager

Rural Awards

Past awards communities received in FY 2023 can be found on the program website.

Rural communities who have received funding include:

  • Thrive Community Coalition in Inez, Kentucky used funding for an initiative that will provide peer mentoring, assessment, and job training for individuals near the conclusion of a residential treatment program or entering an intensive outpatient program. The project will partner with the county prosecutor's office and local businesses to increase second-chance employment opportunities for 140 workers.
  • Smoky Mountain Harm Reduction in Franklin, North Carolina was awarded funds to develop a strategic plan for a workforce-to-recovery ecosystem in rural Macon County. The plan will identify available recovery supports, assess current and future workforce demands, and expand workforce opportunities for people in recovery.
  • New Vision Renewable Energy in Philippi, West Virginia received a grant to provide vocational training in the construction and woodworking industries as well as employment, transportation, housing, and social and mental health supports for 18 young male workers recovering from SUD and aging out of the foster care system.

Topics This Program Addresses

Community Planning and Coalition Building • Education and Training • Employment • Recovery • Substance Use Disorder