Waverly, OH – The Ohio Valley Regional Development Commission (OVRDC), in partnership with the Development District Association of Appalachia announces OVRDC’s selection to participate in Building a Recovery-to-Work Ecosystem Regional Cohort Learning Academy.
The Regional Cohort Learning Academy represents an initiative to bring a team of organizations together to collaborate both within and across regions for the next nine months to improve working relationships, identify and adopt recovery to work best practices, and access dedicated technical assistance that will enhance the lives of individuals and communities impacted by the substance use crisis affecting Appalachia.
The OVRDC group is one of four chosen from the 13-state Appalachian region. The group consists of a core team and home team of stakeholders who provide leadership from a cross-section of assistance agencies, non-profit and for-profit organizations, led by a Local Development District (LDD) affiliated with the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC). OVRDC is the LDD organization serving Southern Ohio, providing multi-jurisdictional planning and economic development support by regularly providing administrative, professional and technical assistance to local governments and citizens.
“One of our main goals is to foster collaboration and build an ecosystem of service providers supporting individuals in recovery and employers across the region. As best practices are established, OVRDC will have an opportunity to be the hub for funding opportunities and information for the Southern Ohio region we serve,” said Kim Reynolds, OVRDC Director of Development and member of the cohort Core Team.
The Core Team Lead is Julie Bolen, the Executive Director for Ross County Community Action. Bolen says COVID-19 has had an impact, and there is an even greater need to focus on recovery support systems during the crisis.
“We have had several calls and web-based meetings with our committee members and other regions participating in the learning cohort. I’m excited to learn more about what our committee members and other cohorts are doing in regard to recovery support programs, and I believe this is going to be a great opportunity to partner together to bring more funding for projects to the region,” Julie Bolen, Academy Core Team Lead and Executive Director of Ross County Community Action Commission (RCCAC).
Julie Bolen is also President of the Board of the South Central Ohio Human Resources Council (SCOHRC), and talks about the committee’s unique group of people that bring a variety of experiences and perspectives on substance use disorders, recovery support and workforce development to the team.
“This is a group that probably would not have come together without the learning academy, and I believe bringing employers, treatment providers, Community Actions, law enforcement, and others together will allow for some creative and exciting opportunities to develop a recovery to work ecosystem in our region,” said Bolen.
The regional members of the Core and Home Team Academy who are part of the workgroup are:
- Julie Bolen, Executive Director for Ross County Community Action
- Kim Reynolds, Development Director for Ohio Valley Regional Development Commission, Waverly, Ohio
- Jamie Colley, Licensed Social Worker (LSW) at Hopesource Treatment Center, Portsmouth, Ohio
- Michelle Scaggs, Administration/Employee Relations for Bellisio Foods in Jackson, Ohio
- Mark Johnson, Union Business Manager for Tri State Building and Construction Trades Council
- Lisa Roberts, RN, Portsmouth City Health Department, Director Drug Free Communities Federal Grant
- Lieutenant Shawn Kelley, Commander Lucasville Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol
- Roberta Osman, Recovery Director, Adams County Courts Probation Department
- Brandi Hawthorne Smith, Adult Workforce and Peer Support Case Manager, Pike Community Action Commission
- Ryan Smith, President of the University of Rio Grande & Rio Grande Community College
- Taylor Stepp, Southern Ohio Project Manager for OhioSE (formerly Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth)
- Steve Sturgill, Executive Director Scioto County Community Action Organization
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