News Release

U.S. Department of Labor Awards $29 Million to Create Workforce Opportunities in Rural Communities

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced an award of $29 million to 27 grant recipients through the Workforce Opportunities for Rural Communities (WORC) program, in partnership with the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and the Delta Regional Authority (DRA).

WORC grants enable communities within the Appalachian and Delta regions that have been hard-hit by economic transition, and recovering slowly to develop local and regional workforce development solutions that align with economic development strategies. Grant recipients will work with industry and community partners to promote new, sustainable job opportunities and long-term economic vitality through grant activities that address the specific needs of businesses and workers in their communities.

“The WORC Initiative encourages grantees to use innovative, regional approaches that leverage local partnerships and resources to build a strong foundation for long-term economic success in the area,” said Assistant Secretary John Pallasch. “We look forward to working with ARC and DRA to ensure that the training delivered through these grants better positions jobseekers to fill the unmet skill needs of local employers, so that workers and businesses can thrive in their communities.”  

“For rural communities to be competitive today, we must ensure that economic development and skills development go hand in hand,” said DRA Federal Co-Chairman Chris Caldwell. “Through the Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities initiative, the Delta Regional Authority enables Delta communities to strengthen workforce pipelines and continue upward economic mobility. Thanks to the vision of Senator Blunt and leadership of President Trump and Secretary Scalia, the WORC Initiative will provide critical investments into innovative, industry-driven workforce training across the Delta.”

“Appalachian rural communities must continue to develop a skilled and ready workforce in order to compete, especially those in economically distressed areas,” said ARC Federal Co-Chairman Tim Thomas. “The WORC Initiative is an innovative partnership creating opportunity for rural workforce development, and is indicative of President Trump’s commitment to this goal.”

 On April 29, 2020, ETA, ARC and DRA announced the availability of these funds, the second round of grants the agencies have offered. Since its inception, the WORC initiative has aimed to create economic prosperity and gainful employment opportunities for residents in the Appalachian and Delta regions, enabling them to remain and thrive in these communities. In 2019, the agencies partnered to award $29 million in WORC grants to 18 organizations.

The Employment and Training Administration administers Federal government job training and dislocated worker programs, federal grants to states for public employment service programs, and unemployment insurance benefits. These services are primarily provided through state and local workforce development systems.

The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.

A list of ARC and DRA grant recipients follows this release.

 

ARC Awards

Recipient

State

Award

Appalachian Sustainable Development

VA

$853,456

Big Sandy Community and Technical College/KCTCS

KY

$1,500,000

Blue Ridge Community and Technical College

WV

$753,104

County of Tazewell, Virginia

VA

$1,443,900

First Tennessee Development District

TN

$1,278,418

Maysville Community and Technical College

KY

$401,910*

Northeast Georgia Regional Commission

GA

$618,909*

Save the Children Federation, Inc.

CT

$618,909*

Total Action Against Poverty in the Roanoke Valley

VA

$1,337,918

University of North Georgia

GA

$1,450,719

University of Pittsburgh

PA

$1,150,631

Wallace State Community College

AL

$1,500,000

Williamson Health and Wellness Center

WV

$1,352,129

Workforce Wayne, Inc. dba Wayne Pike Workforce Alliance

PA

$327,497

Total

 

$14,587,500

* These three applicants received the same final score, and were the lowest scoring selected ARC applicants; therefore, each will receive the award amount shown, which was reduced proportionate to their request, in order to adhere to the amount of funds available for ARC awards ($14,587,500).

 

DRA Awards

Recipient

State

Award

Delta Area Economic Opportunity Corporation

MO

$1,209,301

Delta Health Alliance, Inc.

MS

$1,499,667

Lurleen B. Wallace Community College

AL

$1,495,819

Management, Training and Consulting Corporation

IL

$1,191,187

Marquette Tech District Foundation, Inc.

MO

$1,364,200

McNeese State University

LA

$1,458,203

Missouri State University

MO

$960,000*

NextOp, Inc.

LA

$630,000*

Ozarka College

AR

$1,472,857

Southern Arkansas University Tech

AR

$940,569

University of Louisiana Monroe

LA

$1,074,510

University of Memphis

TN

$1,013,896*

West Kentucky Community and Technical College

KY

$277,291

Total

 

$14,587,500

* These three applicants received the same final score, and were the lowest scoring selected DRA applicants; therefore, each will receive the award amount shown, which was reduced proportionate to their request, in order to adhere to the amount of funds available for DRA awards ($14,587,500).

Agency
Employment and Training Administration
Date
September 29, 2020
Release Number
20-1859-NAT
Contact: Eric Holland
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