Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities

Federal Agency: U.S. Department of Labor

Description: The Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities grant program is designed to create economic prosperity and gainful employment opportunities for eligible individuals in the Appalachian and Delta regions, enabling them to remain and thrive in their communities. This program 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.

Eligible applicants: 

  • State, County, 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 and Other than Federally Recognized)
  • Indian/Native American Tribally Designated Organization
  • Public/Indian Housing Organization
  • Nonprofit Organization with IRS 501(c)(3) Status and 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)

Eligible activities:

  • Training and work-based learning models
  • Other employment-related activities
  • Innovative service delivery strategies
  • Participant support services
  • Employer support services
  • Purchasing equipment and making renovations

For more information about eligible activities, review pages 10-13 in the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA).

Award ceiling (MAX): $1.5 million
Award floor (MIN): $150,000
Funding Availability: $29.2 million
Application cycle: April 30 – July 29, 2020

Special considerations:

  • The Appalachian Regional Commission and Delta Regional Authority are key partners for this program and provide technical assistance to prospective applicants and grantees
  • A focus on providing recovery-to-work programs for individuals affected by substance use disorder is emphasized throughout the FOA, but not required
  • Does not require a match, but documentation of leveraged resources is preferred

More information:

Who can tell me more?

  • Contact Jenifer McEnery ( for specific guidance related to the FOA
  • Contact Emela Halilovic ( for specific guidance related to Appalachian Region communities
  • Contact Aury Kangelos ( for specific guidance related to Delta Region communities

To apply: Visit HERE