Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities (WORC): Grant Initiative for the Appalachian and Delta Regions
The Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities (WORC) Initiative offers grants for projects in the Appalachian region and Lower Mississippi Delta region 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.
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
- Assistance with child care and dependent care
- Provision of stipends, wages, and other incentives to ensure participants are able to participate in the program or to obtain/retain employment
- Linkages to community services, including services offered by partner organizations designed to support grant participants
- 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
- Mental health services, including rehabilitation and treatment for substance use disorders (SUD) with inpatient treatment or intensive outpatient treatment/programs
- SUD recovery workforce strategies such as, but not limited to, recovery coaches, job/career coaches, and health navigator services
- Training site and/or workplace substance use testing and/or drug screening for trainees
Eligible applicants include:
- State governments
- County governments
- City and township governments
- Special district governments
- Regional organizations
- State and local workforce development boards
- Independent school districts
- Public, state controlled, and private institutions of higher education
- Indian/Native American tribal governments (federally Recognized and other than federally recognized)
- Indian/Native American tribally designated organizations
- Public/Indian housing organizations
- Nonprofit organizations with and without 501(c)(3) status
- Hispanic-serving institutions
- Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
- Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCUs)
Applicants do not need to be located within the service area as long as projects benefit people in the Appalachian region.
Applicants must demonstrate that they will only enroll eligible participants who live in the Appalachian Regional Commission and/or Delta Regional Authority regions. Applicants may train eligible participants for jobs that are located outside of either of the regions, so long as the applicant clearly demonstrates that employment in these occupations will not require participants to relocate outside the region, and the jobs must clearly align with the overall intent of the grant application and the statement of need.
Award ceiling: $1,500,000
Award floor: $150,000
Project period: 3 years
Estimated number of awards: 30
Estimated total program funding: $29,200,000
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.