Community Action receives $500,000 Appalachian grant


Highland County Community Action Organization (HCCAO) has been awarded $500,000 by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) to provide workforce training, education, wellness coaching, and recovery support to help address the substance use disorder crisis in Highland County.

The award is part of a recently announced $12 million package through ARC’s INSPIRE Initiative, which addresses the region’s substance use disorder crisis with investments that strengthen services in the recovery ecosystem and help facilitate workforce entry and re-entry.

“I commend HCCAO for their work supporting the recovery ecosystem in Appalachian Ohio. They are integral to bringing our INSPIRE projects to life,” ARC Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin said. “Highland County Community Action is a great asset in our efforts to address the region’s substance use disorder crisis, and I look forward to seeing how they will help build a strong recovery ecosystem and a stronger workforce for the opportunities of tomorrow.”

Tara Campbell, HCCAO deputy director, said, “We are excited to continue to build our resources to provide workforce skill building, recovery support, and mental wellness through this great opportunity and partnership with the ARC. Through partnerships we are able to continue supporting those in recovery by offering a holistic approach to employment and training assistance, while continuing to support their recovery through peer support, wellness groups and overall health education. We are excited to get started planning and implementing this project.”

Since INSPIRE was established in April 2021, ARC has invested $28.1 million in 83 projects across 289 Appalachian counties. The $12 million package for fiscal year 2022 is projected to improve nearly 450 businesses and prepare nearly 3,000 students and workers for new opportunities in the workforce.

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

HCCAO has been in existence since 1965 and both the staff and governing board serve Highland County residents. It is one of more than 1,000 Community Action Agencies throughout the country. Community Action changes people lives, improves communities, and makes counties a better place to live. HCCAO currently has seven departments, and more than 70 programs to serve the residents of Highland County.

Information for this story was provided by Tara Campbell, deputy executive director, Highland County Community Action.
Will help address substance abuse crisis in Highland County

For The Times-Gazette

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