WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor announced today – in partnership with the Appalachian Regional Commission and the Delta Regional Authority – awards totaling $34,375,000, to provide education, training and supportive services in regions that have suffered significant job losses in the energy extraction industry.
“The Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities Initiative provides grants to engage local communities and help build pathways for workers to good-paying jobs,” explained Acting Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training Brent Parton. “The awards we’re announcing today reflect the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to ensure the benefits of its investments in climate, clean energy, training and workforce development reach and serve disadvantaged communities.”
“When we prioritize education, training and career support for rural Appalachians, we help our people and our entire region thrive, and eventually compete, with the rest of the nation,” said Appalachian Regional Commission Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin. “The latest round of Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities grants will continue giving workers in distressed communities the resources they need to enhance their career opportunities. In doing so, this will reignite Appalachian economies and create results that will reverberate throughout the whole region for years to come.”
“Investments in workforce development is a key tool for economic growth in rural communities,” added Delta Regional Authority 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 establish a talent pool that will attract new businesses to the region.”
In keeping with Executive Order 14008, signed by President Biden, the WORC Initiative aligns with the Justice40 initiative, a whole-of-government approach to deliver 40 percent of the overall benefits of certain federal investments to communities historically marginalized, underserved and overburdened by pollution.
The WORC Initiative helps rural communities address historic inequities and to produce good, quality jobs for dislocated and other workers in rural communities in the Appalachian and Delta regions. The grants also help communities diversify their local economies by developing a skilled workforce and providing equitable access to underserved and underrepresented communities.
Lists of Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities grant recipients follows this release.
Grants are being awarded to recipients in the Appalachian Regional Commission area as follows:
Hazard Community and Technical College
Kentucky Dataseam Initiative Inc.
University of Maryland, College Park
Land of Sky Regional Council
Rural Action Inc.
University of Pittsburgh
Westmoreland-Fayette Workforce Development Board
Northeast State Community College
New River/Mount Rogers Workforce Development Area Consortium
Southwest Virginia Community College
BridgeValley Community and Technical College
Randolph County Housing Authority
Grants are being awarded to recipients in the Delta Regional Authority area as follows:
Alabama Department of Commerce
Arkansas Center for Data Sciences
South Arkansas Community College
Strada Collaborative Inc.
Workforce Development Board SDA-83 Inc.
New Orleans Career Center
Dream Innovations Inc.
Mississippi Community College Board
Delta Health Alliance Inc.
Ozark Action Inc.
Southeast Missouri Hospital College of Nursing and Health Sciences