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FTDD receives ARC INSPIRE Grant

The First Tennessee Development District has been awarded $44,800 in Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) funds through the Investments Supporting Partnerships In Recovery Ecosystems (INSPIRE) Initiative, to facilitate "Care2Ride", which will explore multiple transportation models to address the barriers to employment for individuals in the recovery and/or justice involved communities.

“At ARC, we know that substance use disorder recovery isn’t a singular event, but a continuum. Both workforce training and ending the stigma surrounding substance use disorder are equally important in providing a renewed sense of hope and purpose to Appalachians in recovery,” said ARC Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin. “INSPIRE grantees are doing the important work to remove all barriers to entry when it comes to recovery-to-work projects across the region, ensuring that all Appalachians have a chance at a bright future.”

The “Care2Ride” project will be led by First Tennessee Development District’s Caring Workplaces staff who will create a planning team in partnership with Tennessee Center for Advanced Technology, ETSU Addiction Science Center, Uplift Appalachia, Champion Chevrolet, First Tennessee Area on Aging and Disability, and Recovery Resources. This team will conduct a needs assessment to determine how lack of transportation negatively affects workers undergoing recovery. The assessment will identify gaps and the types of transportation models needed to improve an individual’s opportunities to enter or re-enter the workforce. The resulting assessment report will inform a transportation model plan that can address transportation challenges in the recovery to work ecosystem. that will help develop a network of employment support to help individuals enter and remain in the workforce.

Lottie Ryans, Director of Workforce and Literacy Initiatives for the FTDD shared that “transportation is a common barrier to employment for so many in our region. We are grateful to ARC for funding our Care2Ride project so that we can focus on solutions to this important issue. Our work will include getting ideas from those most impacted by lack of transportation.” Andy Deitrich, Owner of Champion Chevrolet and Care2 Ride partner added that “I am happy to be part of this regional effort focusing on transportation challenges. We are hopeful our expertise in transportation can help bring creative solutions to this problem.”

For questions about Care2Ride, please contact Lottie Ryans,

For question about this or other Development District news, please contact Mark Stevans,

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