The Delta Regional Authority (DRA) announced Monday (Nov. 30) it will invest $1.687 million in 13 programs within the Mississippi River Delta and Alabama Black Belt regions through the Delta Workforce Grant Program (DWP).
The investment includes two Arkansas awardees: Restore Hope, Inc. and Southeast Arkansas College.
The DWP supports programs and initiatives that expand job training and re-employment opportunities, align workforce and economic development strategies, create sustainable talent pipelines, establish or enhance locally or regionally significant public-private partnerships, and support enhanced workforce productivity through innovative programming.
“As our economy continues to recover in Arkansas, it is important to create ecosystems that support industry-driven workforce development,” said DRA Federal Co-Chairman Chris Caldwell. “Restore Hope, Inc. and Southeast Arkansas College both demonstrated a commitment to building a skilled workforce in Arkansas by collaborating with industry partners to develop innovative strategies that will ultimately strengthen the region’s economic outlook.”
DRA invested a total of $280,000 into the following two Arkansas programs.
Restore Hope, Inc. will use DRA funding to establish a recovery-to-work program in White County for individuals affected by substance use disorder. The investment is projected to train 16 individuals for high-demand careers in the metal fabrication industry. DRA will invest $130,000.
Southeast Arkansas College will use DRA funding to establish a certificate program in Supply Chain Transportation Technology to prepare program participants for commercial truck licensure. The investment is projected to train 45 individuals for high-demand careers in the transportation and logistics industry DRA will invest $150,000 in this project.
Grants ranging from $76,800 to $150,000 were awarded to industry-driven workforce development programs and initiatives in six DRA states. Eligible applicants demonstrated at least one employer partner seeking to hire more skilled workers in a high-demand industry sector and will aid communities particularly hard hit by industrial downsizing, business closures, and job losses as a result of the public health and economic crisis.
To complement this funding opportunity, DRA will offer grantees post-award technical assistance to ensure projects are effectively and sustainably implemented.