The WORC Initiative, which is a partnership between ETA, the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), the Delta Regional Commission(DRA), and (starting with WORC round 5 in 2023) the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC), funds grant projects within the Appalachian, Lower Mississippi Delta, and Northern Border regions.  These grants are designed to address the employment and training needs of the local and regional workforce, created in collaboration with community partners and aligned with existing economic and workforce development plans and strategies.

First funded in 2019, ETA, has funded 4 rounds of WORC grants to entities within the Appalachian and Lower Mississippi Delta regions; beginning with round 5, expected to be awarded by October 2023, entities within the Northern Border Region will also be eligible to apply for WORC funding.

The purpose of the WORC Initiative is to fund grants that support economic mobility, address historic inequities for marginalized communities of color and other underserved and underrepresented communities, and produce high-quality employment outcomes for workers who live or work in the Appalachian, Delta, and Northern Border regions, enabling them to remain and thrive in these communities.  The WORC Initiative is designed to address persistent economic distress by aligning community-led economic and workforce development strategies and activities to ensure long-term economic resilience and enable workers in the regions to succeed in current and future job opportunities. 

Organizations interested in learning more about upcoming funding opportunities for the WORC Initiative (or other ETA funding opportunities) should visit the Funding Opportunity page, or register to receive notifications from

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Grantee Materials