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Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities (WORC)

Grants to USA Nonprofits, IHEs, Agencies, School Districts in the
Appalachian and Delta Regions for Workforce Development Programs

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) - Employment and Training Administration (ETA), Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), and Delta Regional Authority (DRA)

Deadline Date:

07/15/19 4:00 PM ET Receipt


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Grants to USA nonprofit, tribal, and regional organizations, school districts, IHEs, and local, state, tribal, and special district governments for rural workforce development programs in the Delta and Appalachian regions. Required registrations may take several weeks to complete. Funding is intended to support dislocated worker demonstration projects for the Appalachian and Delta Regions.

This grant program design supports alignment of workforce development with existing strategies and plans for economic development and diversification in rural communities in the following areas hard hit by economic transition and recovering slowly:

- The Appalachian region, as defined in 40 U.S.C. 14102(a)(1), and
- The Lower Mississippi Delta (Delta) region, as defined in 7 U.S.C. 2009aa(2).

The WORC Initiative enables impacted communities to develop local and regional workforce development solutions aligned with existing economic development strategies and community partnerships to promote new, sustainable job opportunities and long-term economic vitality.

These grants will enable eligible applicants within the Appalachian and Delta regions to expand the impact of existing workforce development initiatives. These demonstration grant projects will provide valuable career, training, and support services to eligible individuals in counties and parishes and/or areas currently underserved by other resources. These grants 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.

These projects will demonstrate how the assistance and expertise provided to the grantees by ARC and DRA will expand the capacity and effectiveness of grantees in administering federal funds to provide workforce services in these communities. To this end, ARC and DRA will provide technical assistance to prospective applicants in their respective regions, as well as provide assistance and support to grantees across the life of the initiative.

This Announcement solicits applications for the WORC Initiative for projects across the Appalachian and Delta regions. This program is designed to:

- Implement innovative approaches to address the economic and workforce-related impacts within each of the regions;
- Provide enhanced training and support activities to dislocated workers (including displaced homemakers), new entrants in the workforce, incumbent workers, and, particularly in the Appalachian region, individuals affected by substance use disorder (i.e., opioids, meth, heroin, and other substances) who reside in the eligible areas;
- Support workforce development activities that prepare eligible participants for good jobs in high-demand occupations aligned with a state, regional, or community economic development strategy; and,
- Foster expanded capacity and leveraging resources to address participants’ needs through the workforce system in the Appalachian and Delta regions.

Eligible Activities:

a) Training and Work-Based Training Models
b) Other Employment-Related Activities
c) Proposed Innovative Service Delivery Strategies
d) Participant Support Services
e) Outreach and Interagency Coordination
f) Purchasing Equipment and Making Renovations

For more information about eligible activities, see:

38 U.S.C. 4215 requires grantees to provide priority of service to veterans and spouses of certain veterans for the receipt of employment, training, and placement services in any job training program directly funded, in whole or in part, by DOL.

For more information on eligible participants, see:

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 186036

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Applicants may apply for an amount ranging from $150,000 up to $2.5 million.

Term of Contract:

The period of performance for these grants will be no more than 36 months from an anticipated start date of October 1, 2019. This performance period includes all necessary implementation and start-up activities.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The following organizations are eligible to apply:

- State Government
- County Government
- City or Township Government
- Special District Government
- Regional Organization
- Independent School District
- Public/State Controlled Institution of Higher Education
- Private Institution of Higher Education
- Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
- Indian/Native American Tribal Government (Federally Recognized)
- Indian/Native American Tribal Government (Other than Federally Recognized)
- Indian/Native American Tribally Designated Organization
- Public/Indian Housing
- Nonprofit Organizations
- Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCUs)

Applicants must demonstrate that they are serving eligible participants who live and work in the ARC and/or DRA regions. Applicants are strongly encouraged to partner with other organizations serving the proposed community(s), including potential employers, training providers, and community-and faith-based organizations; to enhance outreach to the community; to leverage additional resources to improve the effectiveness and sustainability of the training delivered; and to ensure the desired outcome of obtaining new or enhanced employment.

Pre-Application Information:

The closing date for receipt of applications under this Announcement is July 15, 2019. Applications must be received no later than 4:00:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

All applicants for Federal grant and funding opportunities must have a DUNS number, and must supply their DUNS Number on the SF-424. The DUNS Number is a nine-digit identification number that uniquely identifies business entities. If you do not have a DUNS Number, you can get one for free through the D&B website:

Applicants must register with the System for Award Management (SAM) before submitting an application. Find instructions for registering with SAM at

How to Register to Apply through
Read through the registration process carefully before registering. These steps may take as much as four weeks to complete, and this time should be factored into plans for timely electronic submission in order to avoid unexpected delays that could result in the rejection of an application. Applicants must follow the online instructions for registration at

For further information about this FOA, please contact Diane Easterling, Grants Management
Specialist, Office of Grants Management. Applicants should e-mail all technical questions to Diane Easterling and must specifically reference FOA-ETA-19-08, and along with question(s), include a contact name, fax and phone number.

Applicant resources page:

View this opportunity on

For a list of application documents, see the Package tab (press Preview) on the page above.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Address mailed applications to:

The U.S. Department of Labor
Employment and Training Administration, Office of Grants Management
Attention: Lynn Fraga, Grant Officer
Reference FOA-ETA-19-08
200 Constitution Avenue, NW, Room N4716
Washington, DC 20210

For questions:

Diane Easterling, Grants Management Specialist
Office of Grants Management
(202) 693-2625

Grant Coverage Areas:

The Appalachian and Lower Mississippi Delta (Delta) regions:

Appalachian region:
Delta region:;

CFDA Number:


Funding or Pin Number:


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Arkansas;   Georgia;   Illinois;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maryland;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   New York;   North Carolina;   Ohio;   Pennsylvania;   South Carolina;   Tennessee;   Virginia;   West Virginia