Award-winning rural development center | Community

The Rural Development Center received $300,000 from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) to implement the Succeed, Thrive and Recover (STAR) program to benefit recovering businesses and individuals in 43 southern and eastern counties. east of Kentucky.

The award is part of a recently announced $12 million package under ARC’s INSPIRE initiative, which is tackling the region’s substance use disorder crisis with investments that strengthen services in the recovery ecosystem and help facilitate entry and reintegration into the labor market.

“I commend the Center for Rural Development for their work in supporting ecosystem recovery in Kentucky’s Appalachia and being integral to the realization of our INSPIRE projects,” said ARC Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin. “The Center is a major asset in our efforts to address the substance use disorder crisis in the region, and I look forward to seeing how they will help create a strong recovery ecosystem and a strong workforce. stronger work for tomorrow’s opportunities.”

This project will establish a new workforce development program to provide people in recovery from substance use disorder with vocational and vocational training and connect them to holistic recovery support services. so that they can successfully enter or re-enter the workforce and maintain their long-term recovery.

“We are excited to implement the STAR program in 43 Kentucky counties within our service area to help with the region’s addiction crisis,” added Lonnie Lawson, President and CEO of The Center. . “Our region needs skilled and trained workers to compete with the growing demands of today’s economy. The training is designed to provide vocational and vocational skills that will help participants enter or re-enter the job market.

In partnership with the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) and local employers, the Center for Rural Development will provide training in the following subjects for recovering individuals: basic computer skills, essential soft skills, and specialized short-term manpower and training. certification programs in targeted high-demand industries with immediate job openings, including electrical, plumbing, carpentry, industrial maintenance, commercial truck driving, hospitality and catering, and billing and medical coding.

The project is expected to serve 494 workers and 40 enterprises and improve 400 workers and 40 enterprises.

Kentucky ARC counties in the Central Core service area that will be served by the STAR program include: Adair, Bath, Bell, Boyd, Breathitt, Carter, Casey, Clay, Clinton, Cumberland, Elliott, Estill, Floyd, Garrard, Green, Harlan, Jackson, Johnson, Knott, Knox, Laurel, Lawrence, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Lincoln, Magoffin, Martin, McCreary, Menifee, Metcalfe, Monroe, Morgan, Owsley, Perry, Pike, Pulaski, Rockcastle, Rowan, Russell, Wayne, Whitley and Wolfe.

For more information about the STAR program, contact the Center at 606-677-6000 or visit

Since INSPIRE’s inception in April 2021, ARC has invested $28.1 million in 83 projects in 289 Appalachian counties. The $12 million program for fiscal year 2022 is expected to improve nearly 450 businesses and prepare 3,000 students and workers for new opportunities in the job market.

ARC plans to issue a request for proposals for the next round of INSPIRE grant opportunities in early 2023. Additional information and resources are available at

Established in 1996 through the vision of U.S. Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers, (KY-05), and other leaders, the Center for Rural Development is a nonprofit organization fueled by a mission to provide a leadership that drives innovative and sustainable economic development solutions and a better way of life in Southern and Eastern Kentucky. In its primary service region of 45 counties, the Center offers innovative programs in leadership, public safety, technology, arts and culture. The Center is committed to constantly expanding its capabilities to provide a range of key services throughout Kentucky and the country.

About the Appalachian Regional Commission

The Appalachian Regional Commission is an economic development agency of the federal government and 13 state governments that focuses on 423 counties in the Appalachian region. ARC’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and enhance economic growth in Appalachia to help the region achieve socio-economic parity with the nation.

About Keneth T. Graves

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