DRA, U.S. Department of Labor Announce $14.6 Million Investment for Workforce Development

September 30, 2019

DOL’s investment will support eight organizations in five states across the Delta region

CLARKSDALE, MS – Today, the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced a $14,587,500 investment into eight organizations across the Mississippi River Delta region to expand the impact of workforce development efforts through the Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities (WORC) grant initiative.

These grant funds, awarded by DOL’s Employment and Training Administration in collaboration with DRA and the Appalachian Regional Commission, focus on rural areas hard hit by economic transition and recovering more slowly. Grantees have designed projects to address the specific skills needed by both businesses and workers in the DRA or ARC service area, as defined in 40 U.S.C 14102(a)(1), and in 7 U.S.C. 2009aa(2), respectively.

“DRA’s mission is to support economic development by making investments into the physical infrastructure and human capital of the Delta region,” said Chairman Caldwell. “These investments will support innovative job training programs that prepare workers with the skills they need to be placed in quality careers and will supply local industry with a highly sophisticated workforce so they can grow and thrive in today’s economy. I am pleased to announce these awards alongside Secretary Pallasch and Chairman Thomas, and I am hopeful that these programs will provide greater economic opportunities for individuals and businesses across the Delta region.”

WORC grant applicants could apply for funding amounts between $150,000 and $2,500,000 for developing local and regional workforce development solutions aligned with existing economic development strategies. The grants also provide enhanced training and support activities to dislocated workers (including displaced homemakers); new entrants to the workforce; and incumbent workers. Collectively, these grant activities promote new, sustainable job opportunities and long-term economic vitality.  

A list of grantees and the areas they serve is below:

DRA Grantees


Counties/Parishes Served


University of West Alabama


Choctaw, Clarke, Greene, Hale, Marengo, Perry, Pickens, Sumter, Washington, and Wilcox


Arkansas Northeastern College


AR: Craighead, Mississippi, Greene, Crittenden, Jackson, St. Francis, and Phillips,

MO: Pemiscot, Dunklin, and New Madrid                                            TN: Shelby


Madisonville Community College


Henderson, Hopkins, McLean, Muhlenberg, Union, and Webster


Northshore Technical Community College


Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, and Washington


Southeastern Louisiana University


Livingston, St. Helena, St. James, Tangipahoa, and Washington


Base Camp Coding Academy


Calhoun, Lafayette, Lee, Panola, Pontotoc, Tallahatchie, and Yalobusha


Hinds Community College


Claiborne, Copiah, Hinds, Rankin, and Warren


Panola County, Mississippi


Calhoun, Lafayette, Panola, Quitman, Tallahatchie, Tate, and Yalobusha



For more information about the WORC Initiative and DRA’s Delta Workforce Program, visit www.dra.gov/workforce

About the Delta Regional Authority

Established in 2000 by Congress, the Delta Regional Authority makes strategic investments of federal appropriations into the physical and human infrastructure of Delta communities. Led by the Delta Regional Authority Board-comprised of the Federal Co-Chairman, appointed by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, and the governors of the eight states-the Delta Regional Authority fosters local and regional partnerships that address economic and social challenges to ultimately strengthen the Delta economy and the quality of life for Delta residents. The Delta Regional Authority works to improve regional economic opportunity by helping to create jobs, build communities, and improve the lives of the 10 million people who reside in the 252 counties and parishes of the eight-state Delta region.


DRA Media Contact:
Susan Edwards         

DRA Program Contact: 
Aury Kangelos