The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA) has announced the availability of up to $29.2 million in demonstration grant funds to expand the impact of workforce development initiatives in the Appalachian and Delta regions through the Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities (WORC) grant initiative.
These grant funds, awarded in consultation with the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and Delta Regional Authority (DRA), will focus on rural areas hard hit by the economic transition that has recovered slowly. These grants will be focused on the areas within the Appalachian region and Lower Mississippi (also known as the Delta) region, as defined in 40 U.S.C 14102(a)(1), and in 7 U.S.C. 2009aa(2), respectively.
The Department will award WORC grants ranging from $150,000 to $2.5 million. These grants will support the alignment of workforce development with existing strategies and plans for economic development and diversification in rural communities in the Appalachian and Delta regions. Grant projects will provide enhanced training and support activities to dislocated workers (including displaced homemakers), new entrants in the workforce, incumbent workers, and, particularly in grants in the Appalachian region, individuals affected by substance use disorder (i.e. opioids, methamphetamine, heroin, and other substances).
Grant applicants must demonstrate that they are serving eligible participants who live and work in the ARC and/or DRA regions. Applicants are encouraged to partner with other organizations serving the proposed community(s), including potential employers, training providers, and community- and faith-based organizations.
Eligible applicants for this funding opportunity include state and county governments; city or township governments; special district governments; regional organizations; independent school districts; public/state controlled institutions of higher education; Indian/Native American tribal governments (both Federally Recognized and other than Federally Recognized); Indian/Native American tribally designated organizations; public/Indian housing; nonprofit organizations; private institutions of higher education; tribally controlled colleges and universities (TCCUs); and historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
For additional information on grant eligibility and how to apply for funds, visit http://www.grants.gov.