Strengthening the Delta Workforce

In 2018 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

The Delta Workforce Grant Program (DWP) is an initiative designed to build long-term community capacity and increase economic competitiveness by providing grants to support workforce training and education programs throughout the Mississippi River Delta and Alabama Black Belt regions.

DWP 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/regionally significant sector-based partnerships, and supporting enhanced workforce productivity through investments in innovative programming or services.

The Mississippi River Delta and Alabama Black Belt regions have been particularly hard hit by industrial downsizing, business closures, and job losses. In accordance with DRA’s Equity Action Plan, DWP prioritizes projects that demonstrate strategic partnership(s) with Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU) and/or federally-recognized tribes, and projects that impact persistent poverty counties/parishes.

 

2023 Delta Workforce Grant Program

Total funds available:  $6,000,000

Grant award maximum:  $450,000

Grant award minimum:  $50,000

 

The 2023 DWP competitive grant program is administered as follows:

Funding Cycle Opens:     December 15, 2022

Application Deadline:     March 14, 2023

 

Applications must address one or more of these goals:

Goal 1 – Improved Workforce Competitiveness

Goal 2 – Strengthened Infrastructure

Goal 3 – Increased Community Capacity

 

More information about the 2023 DWP can be found in the Request for Proposals.

Applicants are encouraged to contact DRA program staff for additional information regarding submission requirements as well as assistance in developing their application. Technical questions about the RFP should be directed to workforce@dra.gov with the subject line "Delta Workforce Program RFP." Include the contact name, applicant organization, and phone number in the body of your email.

To apply, please register an account here.


REGISTRATION & HOTEL LINK: Delta Workforce Grant Program Pre-Award Technical Assistance Workshop in Memphis, TN on February 2, 2023

DRA is offering a pre-award technical assistance workshop to those interested in learning more about the 2023 DWP funding opportunity. This is an official release of the event registration and hotel booking information.

Delta Workforce Grant Program Pre-Award Technical Assistance Workshop

  • Doubletree Memphis Downtown
    • 185 Union Avenue, Memphis, TN 38103
  • Wednesday, February 1, 2023 (travel and hotel check-in)
  • Thursday, February 2, 2023
    • 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM (breakfast & lunch included)


DRA will cover the cost of a hotel room for a one night stay and parking at the Doubletree (if needed), for up to two people from the same organization.

Please click the links below to 1) REGISTER for the TA workshop, and 2) RESERVE your hotel room at the Doubletree Memphis Downtown:

  1. Registration Link - Deadline to register is January 25th.
    • Please register one attendee at a time (max: 2 people)
  2. Hotel Booking Link - Deadline to book rooms is January 15th at 11:59pm Central.
    1. To secure your room, you will need to provide a credit card for incidentals only. However, if your plans change and you do not cancel your room, your card will be charged for one night.
    2. The booking link automatically selects both Tuesday and Wednesday nights. Please deselect Tuesday night, since Wednesday night only is covered for the DWP training on Thursday (Click “edit stay” at the top, select Feb. 1st as the arrival date, click “update”).

Interested parties can review the program overview, eligible applicants, and submission requirements at dra.gov/rfp. Questions about this RFP can be emailed to workforce@dra.gov.


Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities

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

 

 

2022 Resources

Application Resources

2022 WORC IV Prospective Applicant Webinar

 

2022 Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities Funding Cycle

Total Program Funding: $34,200,000

Award Funding Range: $150,000 - $1,500,000

2022 Funding Cycle: April 27 – July 8, 2022


Eligible Applicants include:

  • State and county governments
  • City or township governments
  • State or local workforce development boards
  • 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 (with or without 501(c)(3) status)
  • Private institutions of higher education
  • Hispanic-serving institutions
  • Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
  • Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCUs)

 

2022 WORC Grant Opportunity 

 

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

To complement this federal partnership, DRA facilitates pre-award technical assistance workshops and webinars and offers post-award technical assistance to grantees.


Important Dates

  • April 27, 2022: DOL-ETA publishes FOA for WORC on Grants.gov
  • June 2, 2022:  DRA hosts WORC Pre-Award Technical Assistance Webinar  https://bit.ly/38apmsd
  • June 8, 2022: Technical Assistance Workshop (Memphis, TN) https://bit.ly/3wTrf4O
  • July 8, 2022: DOL-ETA closes the WORC Grants cycle
  • September 2022: DOL-ETA awards WORC Grants

 

WORC Pre-Award Technical Assistance Webinar

Date:  Thursday, June 2, 2022
Time:  11:00 AM to 12:15 PM CT
Link:  https://bit.ly/3m20SVc

 

WORC Pre-Award Technical Assistance Workshop

Date:  Wednesday, June 8, 2022
Location:  DoubleTree Downtown Memphis | Memphis, TN
Time:  8:00 AM to 2:30 PM CT
Link:  https://bit.ly/3wTrf4O

Description:

Delta Regional Authority (DRA) is hosting two pre-award technical assistance sessions to complement the U.S. Department of Labor (US DOL-ETA)'s Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities (WORC) Grant Program. Potential applicants are encouraged to attend to learn more about creating a competitive proposal and hear from previous grantees about their lessons learned.

In partnership with DRA and the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), the US DOL-ETA has made available approximately $34.2 million in the third round of grant funding for the WORC Initiative. Grants ranging from $150,000 to $1.5 million will be made awarded to create economic prosperity, gainful employment, and high-quality career outcomes for workers who reside in the Delta and Appalachian regions, enabling them to remain and thrive in these communities.

For grant eligibility and how to apply, please visit grants.gov.