Delta Regional Authority makes $29 million available for rural workforce needs

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 533 views 

The Delta Regional Authority (DRA), in partnership with the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and the U.S Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA), has announced the availability of approximately $29.2 million in a second round of grant funding for the Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities (WORC) Initiative.

“Within the DRA footprint live some of the most resilient and hard-working people in our great nation, and this is seen in the innovative, industry-driven investments brought to life through the WORC grant initiative,” said DRA Federal Co-Chairman Chris Caldwell. “DRA is providing an opportunity for rural communities to strengthen their workforce pipelines and continue upward economic mobility by giving access to these critical resources, and we are excited to see the growth of our region through more impactful projects from this next round of investments.”

Under this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), the ETA will award these grants to applicants that demonstrate innovative and sustainable strategies to provide needed career, training, and support services to eligible individuals to assist in meeting workforce challenges and industry needs currently underserved by other resources in the Delta and Appalachian regions.

Authorized by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, WORC Initiative grants take a long-term view toward assisting eligible communities in diversifying their economies and expanding and diversifying partnerships by investing in local strategies developed by regional partners. ETA will award those applicants that align and integrate workforce development activities with existing state, regional, or community development strategies. Ranging from $150,000 to $1.5 million, the grants can also help serve those receiving employment and training services from organizations in regions affected by the opioid crisis.

Those eligible for WORC grants include state, county, city, township, or special district governments; State or local workforce development boards; Regional organizations; independent school districts; Public, state-controlled, or private institutions of higher education; Indian/Native American tribal governments (federally and other than federally recognized); Indian/Native American tribally designated organizations; Public or Indian housing organizations; Non-profit organizations; Hispanic-serving institutions; Tribally-controlled colleges and universities; and Historically black colleges and universities.

To complement the federal partnership, DRA will host pre-award technical assistance webinars, offer post-award technical assistance to grantees, and make an additional $1.5 million in grants available in July 2020 through the Delta Workforce Program. Potential applicants are encouraged to visit for more information and resources.