Delta Regional Authority
May 06, 2020  
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Delta News Round-up

A Message from the Federal Co-Chairman | Now Open: U.S. Department of Labor’s Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities 2020 Funding Opportunity | 2020 SEDAP Application Deadline Extended | Register for Delta Workforce Program’s Technical Assistance Webinars | Regional Development Plan IV: We Need Your Help!

A Message from the Federal Co-Chairman

For most of us, this month began with the gradual lifting of measures to combat COVID-19.  Barbershops had patrons for the first time in months, and some were lucky enough to get back to their gyms.  Spring is a time for rebirth and renewal, and we as Americans were able to echo that by starting to get out of our homes and back into our communities.

We in the Delta and Blackbelt regions have suffered several earth-shattering events over our history.  From the Flood of 1927 and the Great Depression, to the more recent Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the 2012 drought, and last year’s flood, population and job loss remain a constant struggle to reverse.  Whatever the circumstance may be, my faith and resolve that we will move forward and prosper lies in this:  our land remains hearty and our communities and residents prove their strength and resilience, time and time again.

This week also marks an important one in our work, Economic Development Week.  For our region and the nation, there is probably not a better week to be reminded of the importance of focus on economic development.  At DRA, we are working every day to fulfill our mission to support job creation, build communities and improve lives.  While the future right now is unknown and challenging days are ahead, we know that economic development is more important than ever.

We are returning to a new normal, and there will be new opportunities and resiliencies that come from this pandemic.  It will take all of us to seize these opportunities and tackle challenges, new and old, to change the status quo.  As this week comes to a close and we all start to venture back out into our communities and post-quarantine America, I encourage you to talk to your neighbors, forge partnership, and come together to help build a stronger Delta region.  We at DRA are excited to see what new, innovative ideas and funding opportunities you bring to us to help invest in a better future for our region.


Chris Caldwell

DRA Federal Co-Chairman

2020 SEDAP Application Deadline Extended

In response to various federal and state COVID-19 actions, many of which have delayed economic development efforts within the Delta region, the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) has modified the 2020 SEDAP timeline to extend the application deadline from May 31st to June 28th.  The deadline extension should provide applicants ample time to access local needs and develop projects that meet DRA guidelines in light of the ongoing pandemic situation. 

Due to the application deadline extension, the overall timeline has been slightly modified, and project votes will now close on September 6th.  Please see the DRA website for more information.

Register for Delta Workforce Program’s Technical Assistance Webinars

Due to COVID-19, DRA had to cancel a number of technical assistance workshops previously scheduled in March and April throughout our region.  We are now excited to announce that we are offering this valuable assistance through two webinars. 

Guided by subject-matter experts and workforce practitioners, these workshops are designed to provide participants with the systems, resources, and tools necessary to develop and implement comprehensive workforce development programs.  Potential applicants for the Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities Initiative and Delta Workforce Grant Program are strongly encouraged to register for one of DRA’s technical assistance webinars.

Space is limited. Interested participants must register to participate.

Tuesday, May 19 at 10AM CST

Register HERE

Thursday, May 21 at 1PM CST

Register HERE 

Now Open: U.S. Department of Labor’s Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities Funding Opportunity

The Delta Regional Authority (DRA), in partnership with the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and the U.S Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA), today announced the availability of approximately $29.2 million in a second round of grant funding for the Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities (WORC) Initiative.

Under this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), the ETA will award these grants to applicants that demonstrate innovative and sustainable strategies to provide needed career, training, and support services to eligible individuals to assist in meeting workforce challenges and industry needs currently underserved by other resources in the Delta and Appalachian regions.

Authorized by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, WORC Initiative grants take a long-term view toward assisting eligible communities in diversifying their economies and expanding and diversifying partnerships by investing in local strategies developed by regional partners. ETA will award those applicants that align and integrate workforce development activities with existing state, regional, or community development strategies. Ranging from $150,000 to $1.5 million, the grants can also help serve those receiving employment and training services from organizations in regions affected by the opioid crisis.

To complement the federal partnership, DRA will host pre-award technical assistance webinars, offer post-award technical assistance to grantees, and make an additional $1.5 million in grants available in July 2020 through the Delta Workforce Program.  Potential applicants are encouraged to visit for more information and resources.  

For additional information on grant eligibility and how to apply, please visit

Regional Development Plan IV: We Need Your Help!

The DRA has begun work on our next five-year strategic plan, the Regional Development Plan IV, and we need your help!  This strategic plan, which develops the agency’s priorities and actions to guide the region’s economic growth over the next five years, will be written based on input from stakeholders and community leaders across the region. 

In the next few weeks, you may receive communication from DRA inviting you to complete a survey, join a webinar, or participate in facilitated listening sessions.  The input you give is vital to developing our overall strategy, and we ask you to please take the time to participate. 

Upcoming Events:

May 12, 2020 - May 14, 2020
Delta Leadership Institute (DLI) Session IV
May 18, 2020
DLI 2020-2021 Fellows Application Opens
May 19, 2020
Technical Assistance Webinar 1
May 21, 2020
Technical Assistance Webinar 2
June 28, 2020
2020 SEDAP Application Closes
July 29, 2020
2020 WORC Grant Application Closes

Click Here To Submit An Event

DRA Newsroom:

Delta Regional Authority

236 Sharkey Avenue - Suite 400
Clarksdale, MS 38614
(662) 624-8600 | DRA.GOV

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