Raleigh, N.C.

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) announced this week, in partnership with the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) and U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), that $29 million is available for Appalachian communities through a new Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities (WORC) initiative.

“This is an important opportunity for communities across Appalachia. I encourage eligible communities to apply for this funding that, along with our NC Job Ready initiative, can support education and job training,” said Governor Roy Cooper, who is serving this year as the States’ Co-Chair of the Commission.

Appalachian communities, especially those underserved by other resources, are encouraged to apply. Eligible North Carolina communities include the following counties:

Alexander Alleghany Ashe
Avery Buncombe Burke
Caldwell Cherokee Clay
Davie Forsyth Graham
Haywood Henderson Jackson
Macon Madison McDowell
Mitchell Polk Rutherford
Stokes Surry Swain
Transylvania Watauga Wilkes
Yadkin Yancey  

This effort will implement innovative approaches to provide enhanced training and support activities to dislocated workers, new entrants in the workforce, incumbent workers, and individuals affected by substance use disorder returning to work. Successful awards, ranging from $150,000 to $2.5 million, will 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.

“This new program will provide invaluable training to the people in these communities,” said N.C. Commerce Secretary Anthony M. Copeland. “These grants will help transition the capable workers of Appalachian communities into the right markets and, in doing so, improve North Carolina’s economy as a whole.”

The application is available online. The closing date for grant applications is July 15, 2019.

Eligible applicants for the program include:

  • State and county governments
  • City or township governments
  • Special district governments
  • Regional organizations
  • Independent school districts
  • Public/state-controlled institutions of higher education
  • Indian/Native American tribal governments (both Federally Recognized and non-Federally Recognized)
  • Indian/Native American tribally designated organizations; public/Indian housing; nonprofit organizations
  • Private institutions of higher education
  • Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)

The Appalachian Regional Commission (www.arc.gov) is an economic development agency of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 420 counties across the Appalachian Region. In North Carolina, 29 counties are considered part of the Appalachian Region. ARC's mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia to help the Region achieve socioeconomic parity with the nation.