The Employment and Training Administration (ETA), U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), in partnership with the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) announce the availability of up to $29.2 million that was appropriated under Title I, Division H of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018 (Pub. L. 115-141) to award funds to carry out dislocated worker demonstration projects authorized under section 169(c) of Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) for the Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities (WORC) Initiative grants for the Appalachian and Delta Regions.
The Notice of Availability of Funds and Funding Opportunity for this grant initiative closes on July 15, 2019. This grant program design supports alignment of workforce development with existing strategies and plans for economic development and diversification in rural communities in the following areas hard hit by economic transition and recovering slowly:
- The Appalachian region, as defined in 40 U.S.C. 14102(a)(1)
- The Lower Mississippi Delta (Delta) region, as defined in 7 U.S.C. 2009aa(2)
The WORC Initiative enables 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 will enable eligible applicants within the Appalachian and Delta regions to expand the impact of existing workforce development initiatives. These demonstration grant projects will provide valuable career, training, and support services to eligible individuals in counties and parishes and/or areas currently underserved by other resources. 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.
These projects will demonstrate how the assistance and expertise provided to the grantees by ARC and DRA will expand the capacity and effectiveness of grantees in administering federal funds to provide workforce services in these communities. To this end, ARC and DRA will provide technical assistance to prospective applicants in their respective regions, as well as provide assistance and support to grantees across the life of the initiative. Potential applicants are encouraged to visit the ARC or DRA websites for more information, including dates and locations for pre-application technical assistance meetings.
DOL will also hold a webinar for potential applicants and will publish the date and registration materials for the webinar on WorkforceGPS.