Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities (WORC)

The Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities (WORC) Initiative, managed by the U.S. Department of Labor, provides 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 in the Appalachian and Delta regions. As part of WORC, ARC partners with the Department of Labor to develop comprehensive approaches addressing economic distress and workforce development activities throughout the Region. Successful WORC projects draw on long-term economic growth strategies, building on bottom-up, community-led plans maximizing economic resilience and regional strengths.

Investments at WORC in Appalachia

Since 2019, WORC has invested more than $43.5 million in 35 projects specifically preparing displaced workers for new opportunities in Appalachia.
Man with hairnet sorts plastic bottles in manufacturing plant

Applying for a WORC Grant

The U.S. Department of Labor has announced the availability of approximately $29.2 million in a third round of grant funding for the WORC Initiative. Grants will range from $150,00 up to $1.5 million.


WORC Pre-Application Workshops

ARC hosted a series of five coffee break webinars to help you prepare a grant proposal under the WORC Initiative. These sessions will provide information on the nuts and bolts of the FOA, managing the grant writing process, demonstrating need and strategic alignment, and more.