US Department of Labor awards $44M to support job training, services for workers in Appalachian, lower Mississippi Delta, Northern Border regions
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor announced today – in partnership with the Appalachian Regional Commission, Delta Regional Authority and Northern Border Regional Commission – more than $44 million in awards to provide career training and supportive services to help workers in these areas secure good jobs in stable, high-demand occupations.
“The Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities initiative leverages federal partnerships and engages local communities to develop strategies to prepare workers for good jobs in high-demand industries, such as broadband and cybersecurity, clean energy, healthcare and advanced manufacturing” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training Brent Parton. “In addition to helping people in the Appalachian and lower Mississippi Delta regions, we’ve expanded the initiative to include the Northern Border regions of northern Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York to advance the administration’s efforts to invest in disadvantaged communities overburdened by pollution.”
Today’s awards follow an April 14, 2023 funding availability announcement for projects that create economic mobility, address historic inequities for marginalized communities of color, rural areas and other underserved and under-represented communities and produce high-quality employment outcomes for workers living and working in the Appalachian, Delta and Northern Border regions.
“It is imperative to prioritize career training and support for rural Appalachians to ensure the region not only survives, but thrives and competes,” said Appalachian Regional Commission Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin. “The newest round of WORC initiative grants will help give workers in distressed communities the resources they need to increase their career opportunities, which will in turn reignite Appalachian economies and boost the overall economic success of the entire region.”
“The Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities initiative is an essential element to strengthening local workforce ecosystems and economic vitality throughout our region,” said Delta Regional Authority Federal Co-Chairman Dr. Corey Wiggins. “Delta Regional Authority’s partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor ensures that residents receive industry-driven skills training for high-demand jobs in their communities, helping to create pathways to high-quality careers and economic mobility in some of the most persistently impoverished areas of the United States.”
“We hear from every rural community we visit about how challenging the current workforce environment is in the Northern Border Regional Commission’s territory. The awardees in our region have a shared commitment to helping people use education and training to improve their economic well-being by helping them develop the skills that are needed by employers,” said Northern Border Regional Commission Federal Co-Chair Chris Saunders. “We know the opportunities created through these awards will help build a more inclusive economy across the northeast.”
The Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities initiative is administered by the department’s Employment and Training Administration.
Recipients of grants serving the Appalachian Regional Commission area are as follows:
Floor Covering Education Foundation
Tompkins County Area Development Inc.
Shaping Our Appalachian Region Inc
electrical training ALLIANCE
The Industrial Commons
Lawrence Economic Development Corp.
Survivor Advocacy Outreach Program
West Central Job Partnership
First Tennessee Development District
Southwest Virginia Workforce Development Board
West Virginia University Research Corp.
Blue Ridge Community and Technical College
Coalfield Development Corp.
Connec Train Corp.
Recipients of grants serving the Delta Regional Authority area are as follows:
American Indian Center of Arkansas
Heartland Forward Inc.
Arkansas Rural Health Partnership
Vienna Township High School 13-3
KCTCS Madisonville Community College
Murray State University
Northshore Technical Community College
Southeastern Louisiana University
University of Louisiana at Monroe
Jackson State University
Delta Health Alliance Inc.
ProGeny Startups Inc.
University of Tennessee
Recipients of grants serving the Northern Border Regional Commission area are as follows:
Northern Forest Center Inc.
Brattleboro Development Credit Corp.
Vermont Healthcare & Information Technology Education Center
Community College of Vermont