DRA Announces $1.5 Million Investment Through New Workforce Development Initiative

October 22, 2019

The Delta Workforce Grant Program will help train the next generation of workforce, create jobs, and increase economic competitiveness throughout the region.

CLARKSDALE, MS – Today, the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) announced a $1,500,000 investment into 11 organizations across the Mississippi River Delta region to align workforce and economic development strategies, enhance job training and re-employment opportunities, create sustainable talent pipelines, and support workforce productivity through investments in innovative programming and technology through the Delta Workforce Grant Program (DWP).

“DRA is committed to investing in workforce training and education that supports job seekers, incumbent workers, and employers to help foster comprehensive economic development in Delta communities,” said DRA Federal Co-Chairman Chris Caldwell. “Through the Delta Workforce Grant Program, DRA is providing an opportunity for rural communities to have access to critical resources in order to strengthen their workforce, create jobs, and improve quality of life across the region.”

Through the DWP, grant applicants could apply for funding amounts between $25,000 and $150,000 to support workforce training and education in rural communities across the Delta region. To complement this funding opportunity, DRA will offer post-award technical assistance to grantees to ensure projects are effectively and sustainably implemented. To be considered eligible, all awarded projects must target workforce training and education for individuals residing in the Delta region and include at least one industry partner seeking to hire more skilled workers in a high-demand sector.

Investments will be focused on four key priorities: supporting industry-led workforce training, building collaborative talent pipelines, developing or enhancing industry clusters, and accelerating regional economic development.

A list of the 2019 DWP grantees and the areas they serve is below:

DRA Grantees


Counties/Parishes Served


Alabama 4th Judicial Circuit Community Correction Program




Black River Technical College


Clay, Greene, Lawrence, and Randolph


UAM College of Technology-Crossett


AR: Ashley, Bradley, Chicot, Desha, and Drew

LA: Morehouse and Ouachita MS: Washington



Todd County Fiscal Court




Jericho Road Episcopal Housing Initiative




Research Park Corporation


East Baton Rouge, West Baton Rouge, Livingston, Ascension, East Feliciana, West Feliciana, St. Helena, Tangipahoa, Washington, Iberville, Point Coupee, Lafourche, Assumption, and Terrebonne


Missouri Rural Water Association


Wright, Douglas, Ozark, Texas, Howell, Phelps, Dent, Crawford, Shannon, Oregon, Ripley, Carter, Reynolds, Iron, Washington, St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve, Madison, Wayne, Butler, Perry, Bollinger, Cape Girardeau, Stoddard, Scott, Mississippi, New Madrid, Dunklin, and Pemiscot


Missouri State University


Howell, Oregon, Texas, Douglas, Ozark, Wright, and Shannon


Carroll County School District




Northwest Tennessee Workforce Board, Inc.


Benton, Carroll, Crockett, Dyer, Gibson, Henry, Lake, Obion, and Weakley


TCAT Covington


TN: Tipton, Lauderdale, Lake, Obion, Shelby, Fayette, Haywood, Dyer, Crockett, Hardeman, Weakley, Gibson, Madison, Chester, McNairy, Carroll, and Henry

AR: Crittenden and Mississippi

MS: DeSoto and Marshall


Additional information about the Delta Workforce Program, including important dates and resources, is available at www.dra.gov/workforce.

About the Delta Regional Authority

The Delta Regional Authority is a federal-state partnership created by Congress in 2000 to help create jobs, build communities, and improve lives through strategic investments in economic development in 252 counties and parishes across eight states. DRA has approved investments of more than $211 million into more than 1,200 projects. Overall, DRA investments have estimated outcomes since 2002 that will create and retain more than 60,000 jobs, train nearly 54,000 workers to advance in the 21st Century and deliver sewer and water improvements to 400,000 residents and businesses. Learn more at dra.gov.

DRA Media Contact:
Susan Edwards         

DRA Program Contact:
Aury Kangelos