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Delta Regional Authority, U.S. Department of Labor Announces $17.1M in Workforce Employment and Training Grants to Rural Delta Communities

The Delta Regional Authority (DRA), in partnership with the U.S Department of Labor (DOL) and the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), today announced a $17,187,500 investment to 13 programs designed to provide employment and training services to regional and local workforces.

Administered by the department’s Employment and Training Administration, the fourth round of Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities Initiative grants – ranging from $835,499 to $1,441,292 – will fund projects to invest in education, training and career support services in the Appalachian and Delta regions. Recipients will align community-led economic and workforce development strategies and provide services to residents of the two regions including those who are dislocated workers; new entrants to the workforce, including students or the long-term unemployed; incumbent workers looking to improve their career prospects; and individuals affected by persistent poverty.

“Investments in workforce development is a key tool for economic growth in rural communities,” said DRA Federal Co-Chairman Dr. Corey Wiggins. “Our continued partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor allows us to meet local industry demands head-on by developing a skilled workforce while also establishing a talent pool that will attract new businesses to the region.”

Authorized by the Workforce Opportunity and Innovation Act, WORC grants allow recipients to help their communities diversify their local economies by developing a skilled workforce and providing equitable access to marginalized communities. WORC grants also aim to address the impacts of economic transition on communities previously reliant on energy-related employment.

“The Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities Initiative grants will engage local communities in building pathways to quality jobs for workers. The grants reflect the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment under the Justice40 initiative to deliver 40 percent of the overall benefits of climate, clean energy, training and workforce development to disadvantaged communities,” said Acting Assistant Secretary of the Employment and Training Administration Brent Parton.

This year’s WORC grant recipients include - Alabama Department of Commerce was granted $1,384,792, Arkansas Center for Data Sciences was granted $1,390,214, Delta Health Alliance, Inc. was granted $1,394,196, Dream Innovations, Incorporated was granted $1,394,535, Mississippi Community College Board was granted $1,394,535, New Orleans Career Center was granted $1,283,998, NextOp, Inc. was granted $1,143,215, Ozark Action, Inc. was granted $1,394,535, South Arkansas Community College was granted $835,499, Southeast Missouri Hospital College of Nursing and Health Sciences was granted $1,394,535, Strada Collaborative, Inc. was granted $1,394,534, Workforce Development Board SDA-83, Inc. was granted $1,394,535, and YoWealth Academy was granted $1,388,377.