WVPA Sharing

Communities of Healing prepares 10 businesses, welcomes second cohort

Federal grant offers employment path in recover to work program

RAINELLE, W.Va. – Ten area businesses are now ready to hire those in recovery after completing an extensive training and receiving their certificate on August 2 at a Communities of Healing event at Fruits of Labor, Inc. The cultivation of local businesses and entrepreneurs is a key component to addressing the opioid crisis in Appalachia and in improving the response to substance use disorder.

Communities of Healing graduates, include, from left, James Birt – Housed-Up, Inc; Adam Hodges – MuttonChops; Maxine Johnson – Appalachian Artistic Adventures; Yvonne Ortiz – Heavenly Sweet Pastries; Amy Patterson and Trista Northern – Sandstone General Store and Eatery; Chris Adams – Appalachian Furnishings; Samantha Phillips – Sage and Lila Company Courtesy photo

“We are very proud of the commitment of our local businesses and their keen understanding of how investments in recovery can lead to community economic and social benefits,” said Judy Moore, executive director of the West Virginia Hive, which is offering training and ongoing advising to businesses in the Communities of Healing training cohorts.

Area businesses completing the program and now ready to hire those in recovery for employment at their organizations include:

  • Samantha Phillips – Sage and Lila Company
  • James Birt –  Housed-Up, Inc
  • Adam Hodges – MuttonChops
  • Chris Adams – Appalachian Furnishings
  • Maxine Johnson – Appalachian Artistic Adventures
  • Jennifer Gilkerson – Sunset Berry Farm & Produce
  • Yvonne Ortiz – Heavenly Sweet Pastries
  • Amy Patterson – Sandstone General Store and Eatery
  • Brittany Massaroni – Brittany Massaroni LLC
  • Trey Yates – Greenbrier Dairy LLC

The second cohort of businesses entering the four-month training program to learn how to mold their current businesses into social enterprises supporting local citizens recovering from addictions includes:

  • Keveney Bair – Hub Cafe
  • Casey Withers – Ruby grow
  • Carrie Kidd – Harmony for Hope Inc
  • Krista Dodrill – Hampton Inn Summersville
  • Amy Dinaldo – Vibes
  • Felicity Hammack – Dusty Trails LLC
  • Brandon Hamilton – Fairfield Inn & Suites
  • Timothy Fowlkes – (Pre-startup)
  • Alison Ibarra – Pinheads Fun Center, Inc.
  • Kim Ross – Africana Taste LLC
  • Kimberly Toney – Canyon Rim Gifts

Tammy Jordan, President of Fruits of Labor, said “We could not be more excited to see the Spring Cohort launch into their community with their compassionate vision for those in recovery.  What a blessing it is to see the new Fall Cohort begin this adventure.  It is wonderful to encounter more businesses joining us on this journey to create their own unique path of growing, investing, and healing as a leader, as a business, and as a community.”

The Communities of Healing program was funded in 2020 by the Appalachian Regional Commission. The innovative program is designed on the success of Fruits of Labor, a culinary program that has worked for nine years  with those in recovery and 20 years in business. The successful Communities of Healing program includes a partnership group consisting of Fruits of Labor, Region 4 Planning and Development Council,  Seed Sower, Inc., Wright Venture Services, Region 1 Workforce Development Board, and WV Hive.

More about Communities of Healing is at  www.communitiesofhealing.com

The WV Hive is the entrepreneurship program of the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority and the administrator of the Country Roads Angel Network. More information about the WV Hive can be found at https://wvhive.com/.

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