Skip to main content
Rural Health Information Hub

Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities (WORC): Grant Initiative for the Appalachian, Delta, and Northern Border Regions

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 17.280
Appalachian Regional Commission, Delta Regional Authority, Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor
Jun 20, 2024

Sabrina Guerrier


The Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities (WORC) Initiative offers grants for projects in the Appalachian, Lower Mississippi Delta, and Northern Border regions that will provide career training and support services to eligible individuals in counties and parishes and/or areas currently underserved by other resources. Grants will support workforce development activities that prepare dislocated workers, new entrants to the workforce, and incumbent workers for good jobs in high-demand occupations aligned with a regional or community economic development strategy.

The program seeks to produce high quality employment and create economic mobility to address historic inequities for marginalized communities of color and other underserved and underrepresented communities in the Appalachian, Delta, and Northern Border regions.

Priority industries include manufacturing, IT, healthcare, and energy.

Projects should provide customized support services that meet the specific needs of participating individuals, such as:

  • Assistance with transportation or housing
  • Assistance with child care and dependent care
  • Counseling or other mental health services
  • Assistance with uniforms or other appropriate work attire and work-related tools, including such items as eye glasses and protective eye gear
  • Assistance with laptops or tablets, books, fees, school supplies, and other necessary items for students enrolled in training, work-based learning, or other elements of the proposed grant project
  • Payments and fees for employment and training-related applications, tests, and certifications
  • SUD recovery workforce strategies such as, but not limited to, recovery coaches, job/career coaches, and health navigator services
  • Defraying costs related to an employer's reasonable accommodations and/or direct service professionals who provide assistance to persons with disabilities
  • Financial counseling
  • Emergency assistance to cover costs that interfere in successful participation in training or employment

Eligible applicants include:

  • State governments
  • County governments
  • City and township governments
  • Special district governments
  • State and local workforce development boards
  • Independent school districts
  • State or local education agencies
  • Public, state controlled, and private institutions of higher education
  • Federally recognized Native American tribal governments
  • Native American tribal organizations
  • Public/Indian housing authorities
  • Labor organizations or labor-management partnerships
  • Nonprofit organizations with and without 501(c)(3) status
  • Hispanic-serving institutions
  • Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
  • Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCUs)
  • Minority-serving nonprofits
Geographic coverage
Service areas of the Northern Border Regional Commission, Appalachian Regional Commission, and Delta Regional Authority
Amount of funding

Award ceiling: $1,500,000
Award floor: $150,000
Project period: 3 years
Estimated number of awards: 35
Estimated total program funding: $49,200,000

Application process

Links to the full announcement and online application process are available through The application instructions will be found on the related documents tab.

Tagged as
Appalachia · Behavioral health · Community and economic development · Delta Region · Employment and unemployment · Health workforce · Human services · Income · Self-sufficiency · Substance use and misuse · Transportation · Alabama · Arkansas · Georgia · Illinois · Kentucky · Louisiana · Maine · Maryland · Mississippi · Missouri · New Hampshire · New York · North Carolina · Ohio · Pennsylvania · South Carolina · Tennessee · Vermont · Virginia · West Virginia

Organizations (4)

For complete information about funding programs, including your application status, please contact funders directly. Summaries are provided for your convenience only. RHIhub does not take part in application processes or monitor application status.