Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities

The Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities (WORC) Initiative, managed by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), provides enhanced training and support activities to dislocated workers, new entrants in the workforce, incumbent workers, and individuals affected by substance use disorder (SUD) returning to work in the Appalachian, Delta, and Northern Border 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.

How To Apply

WORC Funding Now Available

DOL is now accepting applications for the Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities (WORC) Initiative to help provide high-quality outcomes for workers in Appalachia. Final applications are due on June 13, 2023.


WORC Pre-App Series

For the fourth year, ARC has sponsored the creation of a technical assistance series to break down components of the WORC funding opportunity. These videos cover several topics from the FOA  including eligibility, grant requirements and allowable activities, performance reporting, and application procedures.

WORC’s Impact in Appalachia

Projects Supported
Counties Impacted

Since 2019, the Department of Labor has invested more than $60.7 million in 48 projects specifically preparing displaced workers for new opportunities in 289 counties across Appalachia through WORC. Together, these investments are projected to place 16,508 workers in new or enhanced jobs in construction, healthcare, information technology, and manufacturing throughout the Region.

Investments in Action

Dataseam: Growing the IT Workforce in Eastern Kentucky

With WORC support, Dataseam’s Registered Apprenticeship in Information Technology has already prepared more than 30 high school students to pursue high-paying, stable careers in IT.