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 email@example.com 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:
- Registration Link - Deadline to register is January 25th.
- Please register one attendee at a time (max: 2 people)
- Hotel Booking Link - Deadline to book rooms is January 15th at 11:59pm Central.
- 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.
- 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”).
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 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)
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.
- 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
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
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.