Carlow University Receives $50,000 Grant to Study Substance Use Disorder Crisis Resources in Westmoreland and Fayette Counties

Contact: Sean McFarland, MA
Public Relations & Communications Manager
Phone: 412-260-6807

Recovery-to-Workforce Award is part of $12 Million Appalachian Regional Commission’s INSPIRE Initiative

PITTSBURGH – “Southwestern Pennsylvania Partners in Recovery,” in partnership with Carlow University, has been awarded $50,000 by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) to examine the strengths and gaps in the recovery to workforce ecosystem in Westmoreland and Fayette counties, particularly for those in recovery from substance use disorders.

Pamela Twiss, PhD, associate professor of social work at Carlow University, reflected on how this will bring together several area partners. “I’m elated to be working on this interdisciplinary planning grant with Dr. Renee Ingel in Carlow’s Nursing program and with our community partners at Southwestern Pennsylvania Human Services, Inc. (SPHS), Westmoreland County Community College, and the Fayette County Community Action Agency,” remarked Twiss.

“This grant will support our analysis of the strengths and limitations in the existing support system for those in early recovery who are trying to enter, or re-enter, the workforce to pursue stable employment. This should lead to the development of future projects to fill identified gaps,” Twiss added. “This speaks to Carlow’s mission and values in that it’s the first step towards bringing about lasting personal change.”

The planning grant, which is part of a recently announced $12 million package through ARC’s INSPIRE Initiative, 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 Carlow University for their work supporting the recovery ecosystem in Appalachian Pennsylvania that’s integral to bringing our INSPIRE projects to life, said ARC Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin. “Their Southwestern Pennsylvania Partners in Recovery program 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.”

The project will result in a report of the findings and an implementation project proposal to strengthen the existing recovery to workforce ecosystem in these two counties.

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 FY2022 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

About Carlow University

Located in Oakland, the heart of Pittsburgh’s “Eds, Meds, and Tech” district, Carlow University is a private, co-educational, Catholic university founded in 1929 by the Sisters of Mercy. Offering an intimate, personable environment and faculty focused on teaching excellence and experiential learning, Carlow is known for its strong commitment to social justice, ethical forward-thinking leadership and meaningful services that make a positive impact in the community and beyond.

Carlow University is unique in serving babies to age three through its early childhood education center, children PreK to K-8 at its Campus Lab School, and students from high school to age 66 through its campus network and online educational offerings. From undergraduate degree programs to more than 50 graduate, doctoral and certificate programs, Carlow students graduate ready to meet today’s workforce demands for specialized knowledge and skills. Approximately, 98% of Carlow undergraduate alumni are enrolled in an advanced degree program or employed within six months of graduation.

About the Appalachian Regional Commission

The Appalachian Regional Commission is an economic development agency of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 423 counties across the Appalachian Region. ARC’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia to help the Region achieve socioeconomic parity with the nation.

© Copyright 2024 Carlow University. All rights reserved.