DRA’s $1.6M Investment through Delta Workforce Grant Program Includes Three Louisiana Initiatives

November 30, 2020

CLARKSDALE, MS – Today, the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) announced a $1,687,013 investment into 13 programs within the Mississippi River Delta and Alabama Black Belt regions through the Delta Workforce Grant Program (DWP).  The investment includes three Louisiana awardees:  Nicholls State University, Research Park Corporation, and the University of Holy Cross.  DWP supports programs and initiatives that expand job training and re-employment opportunities, align workforce and economic development strategies, create sustainable talent pipelines, establish or enhance locally/regionally significant public-private partnerships, and support enhanced workforce productivity through innovative programming.

“As our economy continues to recover in Louisiana, it is important to create ecosystems that support industry-driven workforce development,” said DRA Federal Co-Chairman Chris Caldwell.  “Research Park Corporation, Nicholls State University, and the University of Holy Cross all demonstrated a commitment to building a skilled workforce in Louisiana by collaborating with industry partners to develop innovative strategies that will ultimately strengthen the region’s economic outlook.”

DRA invested a total of $449,983 into the following three Louisiana programs:

Research Park Corporation | Baton Rouge, LA: Research Park Corporation will use DRA funding to expand Apprenti Louisiana, a nationally recognized registered apprenticeship program. The expansion will develop apprenticeship programs for 13 new employer partners within 57 parishes to meet the growing demand for tech talent across Louisiana.  The investment is projected to train up to 48 individuals. 
DRA Investment: $149,983

Nicholls State University | Thibodaux, LA: Nicholls State University will use DRA funding to provide enhanced training and support activities to a regional workforce aligned with a state, regional, and community economic development strategy as well as leverage partner resources with grant funding to expand training capacity, create a sustainable program, and increase cybersecurity knowledge. The investment is projected to train up to 147 incumbent, displaced, civilian, and redundant workers in cybersecurity/cyber-defense.
DRA Investment: $150,000

University of Holy Cross | New Orleans, LA: The University of Holy Cross, in partnership with Delgado Community College, will use DRA funding to support the growing food service and manufacturing sector by providing scholarship support for culinary professionals working toward an accelerated Bachelor of Science degree in Culinology®.  The investment is projected to train at least 10 individuals.
DRA Investment: $150,000

Grants ranging from $76,800 to $150,000 were awarded to industry-driven workforce development programs and initiatives in six DRA states.  Eligible applicants demonstrated at least one employer partner seeking to hire more skilled workers in a high-demand industry sector and will aid communities particularly hard hit by industrial downsizing, business closures, and job losses as a result of the public health and economic crisis.  

To complement this funding opportunity, DRA will offer grantees post-award technical assistance to ensure projects are effectively and sustainably implemented.  

Additional information about DWP, including important dates and resources, is available at www.dra.gov/workforce.


About the Delta Regional Authority
The Delta Regional Authority (DRA) is a federal-state partnership created by Congress in 2000 to promote and encourage the economic development of the lower Mississippi River Delta and Alabama Black Belt.  DRA invests in projects supporting transportation infrastructure, basic public infrastructure, workforce training, and business development.  DRA’s mission is to help create jobs, build communities, and improve the lives of those who reside in the 252 counties and parishes of the eight-state region.

DRA Media Contact:
Shawna Blair
Director of Communications and Public Engagement