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 Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities (WORC) Grants are 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 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-driven workforce training
  • Building collaborative workforce pipelines
  • Expanding industry clusters
  • Accelerating regional economic development

Technical Assistance Webinars

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 participants with the systems, resources, and tools necessary to develop and implement comprehensive workforce development programs.

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

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 technical assistance from select partners and DRA staff during the period of performance.

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 technical assistance from select partners and DRA staff during the period of performance.

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


Important Dates

April 30, 2020 DOL-ETA publishes WORC Grants on
Summer 2020 DRA publishes Delta Workforce Grants cycle

July 29, 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

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