Strengthening the Delta Workforce

In June 2017, President Donald J. Trump signed Executive Order (EO) 13801, “Expanding Apprenticeships in America,” to promote affordable education and rewarding jobs for American workers through the reformation of America’s education systems and workforce development programs. In response to the President’s call to action, the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) launched the Delta Workforce Program, an initiative designed to build long-term community capacity and increase economic competitiveness across the Mississippi River Delta region and Alabama Black Belt.

About the Delta Workforce Program

In partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Employment and Training Administration (ETA) and the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), approximately $29.2 million in grants are available under the Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities (WORC) initiative to support workforce training and education in rural communities across the Delta and Appalachian regions. To complement this federal partnership, DRA facilitates pre-award technical assistance workshops and webinars, makes available $1.5 million in grants under the Delta Workforce Grant Program, and offers post-award technical assistance to grantees.

The Delta Workforce Program prioritizes investing in communities and regions that have been negatively impacted by economic transition and need assistance to help build their workforce pipelines and strengthen their economies.

Investment priorities include:

  • Supporting industry-led workforce training
  • Building collaborative talent pipelines
  • Supporting or enhancing industry clusters
  • Accelerating local or regional economic development

2020 Delta Workforce Grant Program

Total Program Funding: $1,500,000

2020 Funding Cycle: August 12 – October 12, 2020

Eligible Applicants include:

  • State and local governments (state agencies, counties/parishes, cities/towns)
  • Other public bodies
  • Non-profit entities
  • Local development districts

Eligible applicants interested in applying must operate in or serve residents and communities within the 252 counites and parishes of the DRA region.

Successful applicants will also receive technical assistance from DRA staff during the period of performance to ensure projects and federal resources are deployed effectively.

Review the 2020 Request for Proposals and Frequently Asked Questions for additional grant information. To submit an application, visit the Delta Workforce Grant Program at


Technical Assistance Webinar

Potential Delta Workforce Grant Program applicants are strongly encouraged to attend the virtual technical assistance webinar presented by the Delta Workforce Team. This webinar is designed to provide stakeholders with the necessary tools and resources to develop and implement comprehensive workforce development programs.

September 15, 2020 at 10:30am CST 

<< Click Here to Register >>

2020 Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities Grants

Total Program Funding: $29,200,000

2020 Funding Cycle: April 30 – July 29, 2020

Eligible Applicants 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 non-Federally Recognized)
  • Indian/Native American tribally designated organizations; public/Indian housing; nonprofit organizations
  • Private institutions of higher education
  • Historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs)

Successful applicants will also receive technical assistance from DRA staff during the period of performance to ensure projects and federal resources are deployed effectively.

For more information and to view the Workforce Opportunity in Rural Communities Funding Opportunity Announcement, please visit the grant opportunity announcement at

The U.S. Department of Labor is no longer accepting applications for this round of funding. The next funding cycle is anticipated to be announced in the Spring 2021.

Important Dates

April 30, 2020 DOL-ETA publishes FOA for WORC Grants on
July 29, 2020 DOL-ETA closes WORC Grants cycle

August 12, 2020

DRA publishes RFP for Delta Workforce Grants Program
September 2020 DOL-ETA awards WORC Grants
October 12, 2020 DRA closes Delta Workforce Grants Program funding cycle
November 2020 DRA awards Delta Workforce Grants

More Information

Have a specific question about the WORC or DWP grant programs? Click here to schedule a time to speak with DRA's workforce staff.