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Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities (WORC)

Grants to USA Agencies, Nonprofits, IHEs, and
Tribes for Workforce Development in Eligible Areas

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Employment and Training Administration (ETA)

Deadline Date:

07/29/20 4:00 PM Eastern Time


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Grants to USA government agencies, nonprofit organizations, school districts, IHEs, tribal governments, and regional organizations in eligible areas for workforce development programs. Applicants are advised that required registrations may take several weeks to complete. Funding is intended to serve the Appalachian and Delta Regions.

The purpose of this program is to demonstrate the alignment of regionally driven, comprehensive approaches to addressing economic distress and the necessary workforce development activities to ensure a workforce capable of succeeding in current and future job opportunities. Successful long-term economic growth strategies build upon bottom-up, community-led plans that promote economic resilience and maximize regional strengths. The WORC Initiative grants take a long-term view toward assisting eligible communities in diversifying their economies by investing in local strategies developed by regional partners. This long-term view also acknowledges the impact of the opioid crisis and the significant challenges it presents to a community’s workforce. To address these challenges, ETA encourages applicants to include within their applications strategies to address the employment and training needs of individuals affected by substance use disorder in their communities.

The goal of this grant opportunity is to create economic prosperity and gainful employment opportunities for eligible individuals of the Appalachian and Delta regions, enabling them to remain and thrive in these communities. The WORC Initiative provides funding to eligible applicants proposing to meet this goal with a project addressing the employment and training needs of the local and regional workforce, created in collaboration with community partners and in coordination with existing economic development strategies.

Successful applicants will demonstrate clear strategies to provide needed career, training, and support services to eligible individuals in counties, parishes, and/or areas currently underserved by other resources, so they may secure good jobs in stable, high-demand occupations. Eligible individuals served under this grant include dislocated workers, new entrants to the workforce, and incumbent workers. Applicants are encouraged to incorporate strategies that support eligible individuals impacted by substance use disorder; at least $5 million is anticipated to go to grants that include support for individuals impacted by substance use disorder.

Priority will be given to veterans and spouses of veterans. 

For Eligible Activities, see

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 186036

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:


Estimated Size of Grant:

- Award Ceiling: $1,500,000
- Award Floor: $150,000

Term of Contract:

The period of performance for these grants will be no more than 36 months from an anticipated start date of September 30, 2020. This performance period includes all necessary implementation and start-up activities.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

- State Government
- County Government
- City or Township Government
- Special District Government
- Regional Organization
- State or Local Workforce Development Board
- Independent School District
- Public/State Controlled Institution of Higher Education
- 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 Organization
- Nonprofit Organization with IRS 501(c)(3) Status
- Nonprofit Organization without IRS 501(c)(3) Status
- Private Institution of Higher Education
- Hispanic-serving Institution
- Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
- Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCUs)

Among eligible applicants listed above, the applicant agency or organization must also demonstrate collaboration or engagement with at least two employer/industry partners and should partner with other organizations serving the economic, workforce development, and other needs of the community the application proposes to serve. These other organizations could also include local employers, as well as state or local workforce development boards, community- and faith-based organizations or academic institutions and other organizations providing job training, which can include local school systems, universities, and community colleges, among others. Such partnerships expand project capacity to reach and serve grant participants by leveraging and building upon existing community efforts, resources, and networks. Partnerships also help to sustain the delivery of effective career and training services to address workforce

Pre-Application Information:

The closing date for receipt of applications under this announcement is July 29, 2020. Applications must be received no later than 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

Registration: These steps may take as long 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

All applicants for federal grant and funding opportunities must have a DUNS number, and must supply their DUNS Number on the SF-424. 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 applicants can apply online using Workspace. Workspace is a shared online environment where members of a grant team may simultaneously access and edit different webforms within an application. For a complete workspace overview, refer to

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

Applicant Resources:

Online Tutorial:

Contact Information:

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

For further information about this FOA, please contact Jenifer McEnery, Grants Management Specialist, Office of Grants Management, at (202) 693-2815. Applicants should e-mail all technical questions to and must specifically reference FOA-ETA-20-04, and along with question(s), include a contact name, fax and phone number.

If you encounter a problem with and do not find an answer in any of the other resources, call 1-800-518-4726 or 606-545-5035 to speak to a Customer Support Representative or email

Grant Coverage Areas:

The Appalachian and Lower Mississippi Delta (Delta) regions:
- Appalachian region:
- Delta region: and

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

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