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Grants aim to help rural workers in energy communities obtain stable, quality jobs

WASHINGTON To assist workers in obtaining new opportunities in rural communities where residents once relied on energy industry jobs, the U.S. Department of Labor today announced the availability of $34.2 million in funding in Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities Initiative demonstration grants.

The grants align with the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to provide jobs, skills training and employment support services for high-growth and high-demand industries in these communities. This fourth round of funding is made available through a partnership with the Appalachian Regional Commission and the Delta Regional Authority.

Administered by the department’s Employment and Training Administration, each WORC grant – ranging from $150,000 to $1.5 million – will fund projects to provide career training and supportive services to people in the Appalachian and Delta regions so they may secure quality jobs in stable, high-demand occupations.

The WORC Initiative aims to help rural communities create and promote new, sustainable job opportunities in competitive industries, particularly in regions that have suffered significant job losses in the energy extraction industry. These grants are intended to help new job seekers, dislocated workers and incumbent workers develop new skills, and prepare people returning to the workforce.

The department awarded WORC grants totaling more than $87.5 million in Sept. 2019, Sept. 2020 and Sept. 2021.

Successful applicants will implement projects that demonstrate collaboration with community partners and coordination with existing economic development strategies.

Learn more about Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities Initiative grants and apply.


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