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The Center for Rural Development has been awarded $300,000 by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) to implement the Succeed, Thrive and Recover (STAR) program to benefit businesses and individuals in recovery in 43 Southern and Eastern Kentucky counties.

The award is part of a recently announced $12 million package through the 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.

This project will establish a new workforce development program to provide individuals in recovery from substance abuse disorder with job and vocational skills training and connect them to recovery wraparound support services so they can successfully enter or re-enter the workforce and maintain long-term recovery.

In partnership with the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) and local employers, The Center for Rural Development will offer training in the following subjects to persons in recovery: basis computer skills, essential soft skills, and specialized workforce training and short-term certification programs in targeted high-demand industries – including electrical, plumbing, carpentry, industrial maintenance, commercial truck driving, hospitality and food service, and medical billing and coding.

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

Eligible Kentucky counties

The Kentucky ARC counties in The Center’s primary service area to 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 email