The Employment and Training Administration (ETA), in partnership with the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and the Delta Regional Authority (DRA), announced the successful grantees of the Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities (WORC) initiative on September 30, 2019. ETA awarded $29.2 million in grants to 18 successful applicants—10 in the Appalachian region and 8 in the Delta region.

WORC Overview

The WORC Initiative is designed to facilitate the alignment of workforce development efforts with existing economic development strategies in rural communities hard hit by economic transition and recovering slowly. The WORC Initiative provides grant funds to enable impacted communities to develop local and regional workforce development solutions aligned with existing economic development strategies and community partnerships to promote new, sustainable job opportunities and long-term economic vitality. These grants support workforce development activities that prepare dislocated workers, new entrants to the workforce, and incumbent workers for good jobs in high-demand occupations aligned with a regional or community economic development strategy.

The goal of these projects is to improve access to good jobs, as well as help communities and workers plan for, and recover from, economic transitions, by:

  • Implementing innovative approaches to address the economic and workforce-related impacts within each of the regions;
  • Providing enhanced training and support activities to eligible individuals;
  • Supporting workforce development activities that prepare eligible participants for good jobs in high-demand occupations aligned with a state, regional, or community economic development strategy; and
  • In the Appalachian region, helping to address the impacts of the opioid crisis.

Successful applicants proposed a wide range of activities to meet the goals of the WORC Initiative, including:

  • Developing training and work-based learning opportunities;
  • Providing incentives for participation and completion of grant-funded activities;
  • Purchasing or leasing equipment and facilities to establish or improve training centers and increase opportunities; and,
  • Working with local businesses to retain or hire new workers, including through on-the-job training, incumbent worker training, and other approaches.

Grant Information

Grant Awards

Delta Region Grantees

Grantees/Project Name State Amount
Base Camp Coding Academy MS $635,000
Northshore Technical Community College LA $1,930,586
Southeastern Louisiana University LA $2,457,701
Madisonville Community College KY $1,258,842
Arkansas Northeastern College AR $2,324,336
University of West Alabama AL $2,499,809
Panola County, Mississippi MS $2,154,000
Hinds Community College MS $1,327,226
Total Awarded: $14,587,500

Appalachian Region Grantees

Grantees/Project Name State Amount
Spartanburg Community College SC $2,140,725
Research Foundation for SUNY NY $1,962,182
West Central Job Partnership, Inc. PA $2,500,000
Community Action Council for Lexington-Fayette, Bourbon, Harrison and Nicholas Counties KY $383,668
Coalfield Development Corporation WV $2,500,000
University of North Alabama AL $1,098,599
North Georgia Technical College GA $1,307,107
Randolph County Housing Authoritye WV $750,000
The Alcohol and Drug Council of Tompkins County NY $566,521
Goodwill of North Georgia GA $1,378,698
Total Awarded: $14,587,500

Grantee Materials

About the Appalachian and Delta Regions

  • The Appalachian region consists of 420 counties across 13 states
  • The Delta region consists of 252 counties and parishes across 8 states