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Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities (WORC)

Federal Agency

Sub-Department

Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC); Delta Regional Authority (DRA); Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC)

Purpose

To fund grants that support create economic mobility, address historic inequities for marginalized communities of color and other underserved and underrepresented communities, and produce high-quality employment outcomes for workers who live or work in the Appalachian, Delta, and Northern Border regions, enabling them to remain and thrive in these communities.

Applicant and/or Project Eligibility Requirements

Eligible individuals served under this grant include dislocated workers, new entrants to the workforce, and incumbent workers. Applicants are encouraged to incorporate strategies that achieve economic opportunity and address historical inequities. ​

Decarbonization Considerations

These grants help communities create tangible strategies to prepare for new supply chains, clean energy manufacturing, and workforce training. For example, consider using planning funding to build partnerships that can accelerate the development of trained contractors for deep efficiency and electrification retrofits for commercial and residential buildings. Workforce development programs are not one-size-fits-all, and WORC offers communities in eligible regions opportunities to create regionally and locally tailored training.

Equity Considerations

The purpose of the WORC Initiative is to fund grants that support create economic mobility, address historic inequities for marginalized communities of color and other underserved and underrepresented communities, and produce high-quality employment outcomes for workers who live or work in the Appalachian, Delta, and Northern Border regions, enabling them to remain and thrive in these communities.  The WORC Initiative is designed to address persistent economic distress by aligning community-led economic and workforce development strategies and activities to ensure long-term economic resilience and enable workers in the regions to succeed in current and future job opportunities. 

Helpful Tips

ETA plans to prioritize the selection of applicants that identify their current capacity with regard to longitudinal administrative databases as Launch Point 2 and after those, prioritize applicants that have never received a Workforce Data Quality Initiative (WDQI) grant. Applicants that previously received three or more WDQI grants are ineligible to apply. Consider inviting DOL staff to participate in specific roundtables or community events with your regional team to get their input directly as you build momentum for funding support.

Other Notes

ARC and DRA will provide technical assistance to prospective applicants in their regions, as well as assistance and support to grantees throughout the life of the program.

Deadline (Announced or Anticipated)

May 10, 2023

Funding Available

$11,600,000

Max Award Amount

$2,900,000

Expected Allocations

7

Average Award (Estimated)

$1,657,143

Matching Funds

Not required

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