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 National Dislocated Worker Reserve: Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities (WORC) Grants will become available to support workforce training and education in rural communities across the Delta and Appalachian regions. To complement the federal partnership, DRA will host eight technical assistance workshops, make available $1.5 million in grants, and offer post-award technical assistance to grantees.

The Delta Workforce Program will prioritize investing in communities and regions that have been negatively impacted by economic transition and recovered more slowly to help build their workforce pipelines and strengthen their economies.

Investment priorities include:

  • Supporting industry-driven workforce training
  • Building collaborative workforce pipelines
  • Expanding industry clusters
  • Accelerating regional economic development

Technical Assistance Workshops

Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to attend one of DRA’s technical assistance workshops. Guided by subject-matter experts and workforce practitioners, these workshops are designed to provide stakeholders with the systems, resources, and tools necessary to develop and implement comprehensive workforce development programs.

Space is limited. Interested participants must RSVP to attend.

The one-day workshops will be held from 8:00am-4:00pm according to the following schedule: General Workshop Agenda (pdf)




February 25, 2020

Cape Girardeau, MO
Drury Plaza Hotel Cape Girardeau Conference Center
3351 Percy Drive
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701

Register Now

February 26, 2020

Carbondale, IL
Holiday Inn Hotel and Conference Center
2300 Reed Station Parkway
Carbondale, IL 62901

Register Now

February 28, 2020

Paducah, KY
Holiday Inn Paducah Riverfront
600 North 4th Street
aducah, KY 42001

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March 12, 2020

Little Rock, AR
Little Rock Marriott
3 Statehouse Plaza
Little Rock, AR 72201

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March 13, 2020

Memphis, TN
The Peabody Memphis
118 South 2nd Street
Memphis, TN 38103

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April 2, 2020

Montgomery, AL
Embassy Suites
300 Tallapoosa Street
Montgomery, AL  36104

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April 7, 2020

Monroe, LA
The Terrace Banquet Hall
University of Louisiana-Monroe
700 University Avenue
Monroe, LA 71209

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April 9, 2020

Jackson, MS
Hilton Jackson
1001 East County Line Road
Jackson, MS 39211

Register Now

2020 Delta Workforce Grant Program

Total Program Funding: $1.5 million

Eligible Applicants include:

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

All eligible applicants must apply for projects that operate in or are serving residents and communities within the 252 counites and parishes of the DRA region.

Successful applicants will be eligible for up to 50 hours of intensive technical assistance from select partners and DRA staff.

More information will be made available when DRA’s Request for Proposals (RFP) is published in Summer 2020.

2020 Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities Grants

Total Program Funding: Approximately $29.2 million

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 be eligible for up to 50 hours of intensive technical assistance from select partners and DRA staff.

For more information and to view the Workforce Opportunity in Rural Communities Funding Opportunity Announcement, please visit the grant opportunity announcement at in March 2020.


Important Dates

March 2020 DOL-ETA publishes WORC Grants on
Early Summer 2020 DRA publishes Delta Workforce Grants cycle
Late Summer 2020 DOL-ETA closes WORC Grants cycle
Late Summer 2020 DRA closes Delta Workforce Grants cycle
September 2020 DOL-ETA awards WORC Grants
DRA awards Delta Workforce Grants

More Information

For more information about the Delta Workforce Program, please contact Aury Kangelos at