On Oct. 15, Region 4 Planning and Development Council in partnership with Seed Sower, Inc., Fruits of Labor, Wright Venture Services, the WV Hive, and Workforce WV Region 1 was awarded $1,499,894 from Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) to create a program that strengthens the recovery-to-work ecosystem in southern West Virginia through the growth of social entrepreneurship in the food sector. This work will encourage businesses to meet the needs of communities coping with the opioid crisis by creating a “social impact hub” that offers cohort-based training for food-based businesses and entrepreneurs seeking to invest in social mission of recovery. Creating communities of healing by cultivating businesses to address the opioid crisis will diversify and strengthen coal impacted economy in southern West Virginia.
“I have always said that West Virginians are the most hardworking and most resilient people, they just need a chance to prove it. ARC has given our state that chance, with over $5.8 million in investments from the POWER grant program this year. These awards will support projects to expand broadband access, implement substance use disorder peer recovery programs, and support economic development across the state. One investment in particular, the Creating Communities of Healings initiative, coordinated by the Region 4 Planning and Development Council, will strengthen the recovery-to-work ecosystem and entrepreneurship in Southern West Virginia. This POWER award is an example of the strong partnership between West Virginia, ARC, and our community organizations across our state and I look forward to seeing the positive impact of this initiative for years to come,” said Senator Manchin.
“Region IV’s partnership with Fruits of Labor, Seed Sower, Wright Venture Service, the WV Hive, and Workforce WV Region 1 does a great job helping those struggling with addiction get a job, find stability, and continue on their path to recovery. I’m proud ARC recognizes this important work, and I’m hopeful for the lives that will be changed with the help of this federal funding,” said Senator Shelley Moore Capito.
“Our state is ground zero for the opioid epidemic and it is crucial we do all we can to support those suffering from addiction,” said Congresswoman Miller. “By providing our communities and vulnerable populations with positive skills we can reverse the trends of this epidemic and increase recovery efforts. I am pleased to see this funding create new found pathways to success in Southern West Virginia.”