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UCDD Receives 260K Planning Grant For Recovery Work Program

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
UCDD Receives 260K Planning Grant For Recovery Work Program

The Upper Cumberland Development District has received a $260,000 planning grant to strengthen a multi-state recovery-to-work effort.

UCDD Executive Director Mark Farley said that the planning grant is one the first of several steps. He said that this planning grant will hopefully be what leads to a large funding opportunity later down the line.

“We’ll be spearheading the project, we’re one of six states that’s involved in this. We’re the backbone agency so we’re doing a lot of leg work, putting it in place and hopefully, this will lead to a larger funded grant opportunity in the future,” Farley said. “Which will hopefully expand beyond the six states but would cover all 13 states covered by the Appalachian Regional Commission.”

The program helps those recovering from drug addiction get jobs. Farley said a big part of the recovery process is learning how to be self-sufficient.

“We’ve got a lot of individuals that we’ve worked with on a daily basis that’s trying to get back through recovery and get back employed,” Farley said. “And this grant hopefully will help our employers understand how to employ and the fact that many of these people would be great employees they just had a rough patch in their life.”

States participating in the effort include Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. Farley said that the SUD effort is not only for the good of those in recovery but also to assist with worker shortages. He said that the goal of SUD is to teach employers how to employ those in recovery, which will in turn fill positions long left vacant.

“With the workforce that we have we need every available body working today,” Farley said. “Because of the baby boomers moving out of the workplace, our employers have found it harder and harder to fill all their open positions, so we need to work with all groups of individuals.”


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