Delta Regional Authority Announces 2024 Delta Workforce Grant Program Awardees

Delta Regional Authority Announces 2024 Delta Workforce Grant Program Awardees


March 28, 2024


Arlicia Jordan


Delta Regional Authority Announces 2024 Delta Workforce Grant Program Awardees

More than $10 million invested into 23 workforce training projects across Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee

Clarksdale, MS – The Delta Regional Authority (DRA) has awarded more than $10 million in investments toward 23 projects across Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee through the Delta Workforce Grant Program (DWP). Funding for this program was made possible, in part, by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law signed by President Biden — a key part of his Investing in America agenda. This funding is just one of the ways President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is helping to create and sustain millions of good-paying jobs in communities across the nation—most of which do not require a four-year college degree.

“The Delta Workforce Grant Program makes targeted investments in initiatives and programs that support workforce employment and training needs in DRA’s region and helps create pathways to high-quality careers that allow residents to thrive and remain in their communities,” said DRA Federal Co-Chairman, Dr. Corey Wiggins. “As a result of this investment, more than 2,000 individuals and 600 communities will benefit from these initiatives and programming providing industry-driven skills, training or certificates for high-demand jobs, ultimately helping to strengthen local workforce ecosystems and economic vitality throughout the region.”

DRA awarded grants, ranging from $185,000 to $450,000, to address the employment and training needs of the local and regional workforce, created in collaboration with community partners and aligned with existing economic and workforce development plans and strategies. Programs funded through DWP provide workforce training and education to individuals residing in the eight-state DRA region and include at least one employer partner seeking to hire more skilled workers in a high-demand industry sector. To complement the funding opportunity, DRA also offers grantees post-award technical assistance to ensure projects are effectively implemented.

DWP is an initiative designed to nurture local workforce ecosystems and increase economic competitiveness by providing grants to support workforce training and education programs throughout the Mississippi River Delta and Alabama Black Belt regions. The program supports projects and initiatives that create a more vibrant economic future for the Delta region by expanding opportunities to recruit, train, and retain a diverse and local workforce; aligning workforce and economic development strategies; creating sustainable talent pipelines; establishing or enhancing locally and regionally significant sector-based partnerships; and supporting enhanced workforce productivity through investments in innovative programming and services.

The 2024 DWP awardees include:


Alabama State University awarded more than $187,000 for its Connecting to the Helping Professions (CHiP) program. Creating pipelines to the social work profession to meet growing demands, CHiP will facilitate access to social work professional training programs by providing learning and action opportunities to new entrants to the workforce and incumbent workers returning to school.

Reid State Technical College awarded nearly $450,000 for its Partnerships Impacting Nursing Student Success (PINSSS) Project, which will address the significant socio-economic and health care challenges in counties in rural southwest Alabama.

Tuskegee University, in collaboration with Trendco USA, awarded $450,000 for PRIMEA, a systemic solution to employment issues prevalent in rural Alabama by preparing a regional workforce with industrial skills for quality control and testing in a manufacturing environment.


Arkansas Rural Health Partnership awarded $450,000 for the Arkansas Delta Advance: Emergency Medical Services Training Initiative, which will bring together nonprofit, education, health care, economic/workforce development, and industry/employers within the emergency medical services sector to meet critical workforce shortages.

Arkansas State University Mountain Home awarded $450,000 to establish an extrusion and injection molding program to promote industry driven training and workforce development.

Ozarka College awarded more than $437,000 to develop a skilled trades program and expand capacity in its welding program to advance the trades workforce in rural communities in North Central Arkansas.

Shorter College awarded $440,000 for an Entrepreneurial Technology Center that will offer training in high-demand occupations to strengthen the local and regional workforce and prepare individuals to earn certifications and degrees to filled needed jobs.


Southern Illinois Community Foundation awarded $450,000 for the Insignia Group Training Academy for Returning Citizens, which aims to increase the number of people who have been impacted by the criminal legal system to have access to long-term, quality and sustainable employment opportunities.  


Family Scholar House awarded nearly $439,000 for HealthCorps, a public health workforce capacity-building program designed to catalyze critical capacity-building in the region’s health care workforce and to improve clinical outcomes by creating a recruiting pipeline of new workers, increasing retention of existing health care workers and providing structured educational pathways.

Green River Area Development District awarded $450,000 for MAINTech, a multi-skilled advanced industrial maintenance training program that aims to fill the employment gap between the current skill level of the available workforce talent pool and the current talent needs of local manufacturers.


Greater New Orleans (GNO) Development Foundation awarded $450,000 for the GNO Regional Aerospace and Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, which will support pathways for dislocated, new entrants and incumbent workers to obtain high-demand skills and employment opportunities in aerospace and advanced manufacturing.

Louisiana Christian University awarded more than $448,000 to develop its Responsive Nursing Technology (RNTech) in Education program, a response to the evolving demands of the health care industry and to address the health care shortage in Louisiana.

New Orleans Pipes Trades awarded $450,000 for its pre-apprenticeship program, which aims to address critical workforce shortages in the plumbing, pipefitting, welding and HVAC trades, meeting the workforce needs of regional industries.

Workforce Development Board SDA-83 awarded $450,000 to establish the Northeast Louisiana Rural Apprenticeship Network, a two-year project that will introduce and create new apprenticeships while providing individuals with opportunities to obtain training for skilled trade careers in the manufacturing sector and the agriculture and resource extraction sector.


Boys & Girls Club of Central Mississippi awarded $450,000 for a workforce development initiative that seeks to ensure equitable access to resources and career opportunities post-graduation by focusing on careers in culinary arts.

Delta Compass awarded $450,000 for its Delta Healthcare Inclusion Program, which aims to build navigable pipelines for skill seekers to enter the health care industry.

Dream Innovations awarded $450,000 for the Increasing Minority Pathways to Advanced Careers in Technology (IMPACT) project, an initiative designed to bridge the “digital divide” by utilizing technology to prepare participants for the workforce, opening doors to new career opportunities.

Metro Booming Training Academy awarded $450,000 to develop a career pathways program that will train unemployed and other job seeking individuals in Hinds County, Miss., to employment opportunities in the manufacturing sector, including aerospace, automotive, chemicals and machinery.  


Community Partnership of Southeast Missouri awarded more than $440,000 for its Cape Girardeau YouthBuild program, a collaborative effort designed to provide education, leadership, and occupational skill development, connecting individuals to careers and trades in the construction industry.

East Missouri Action Agency (EMAA) awarded $450,000 to implement the EMAA Regional Culinary Arts Project to prepare individuals for jobs and careers in restaurants and food service-related industry.

Ranken Technical College awarded $450,000 to develop the Ranken Airframe and Power Aviation Maintenance Education Program to strengthen industry and to expand and maximize the economic impact of the Perryville Airport.


NextOp awarded nearly $450,000 for its Developing Equitable Talent Pipelines for Economically-Disadvantaged Veterans program, which seeks to partner veterans with a career in the health care, construction or distribution industries in the Memphis Metro area.

The Collective Blueprint, in collaboration with the Memphis District Collaborative, awarded more than $447,000 to expand access to health care pathways through its Health Collective program.

Additional information about DWP, including important dates and resources, is available at Delta Workforce Grant Program – Delta Regional Authority (


About the Delta Regional Authority

The DRA was established in 2000 as a formal framework for joint federal-state collaboration to promote and encourage the economic development of the lower Mississippi River and Alabama Black Belt regions. To fulfill this purpose, DRA invests in projects supporting transportation infrastructure, basic public infrastructure, workforce training, and business development. DRA’s region encompasses 252 counties and parishes in parts of Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee.

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