ocrabasicThe Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs’ (OCRA) announced an Economic Development opportunity that is available to Indiana’s rural communities through a new Workforce Development Program (WDP).  This WDP does not necessarily have a GIS training component in it, but in some locations in the state it may if a strong GIS training need is identified.

So how can Indiana’s GIS community participate and help?  For any community developing a WDP Grant Proposal, GIS can be an important tool to help map existing and projected …

unemployed and underemployed resources

business and industry workforce needs

DWD approved training resources

As well as perform the analysis and reporting of the communities needs and justification to receive a grant.

So if you can help, I recommend you reach out to the representative in your rural cities and towns, local economic development organizations, chamber of commerce members, school corporations, community foundations and businesses interested in developing a stream of skilled employees within their communities, and offer your GIS data and skills to assist in developing a proposal.

Under this program, two-million dollars will be made available to award up to eight (8) grants of up to $250,000 each to programs across Indiana that demonstrate a strong public and private partnerships in workforce development.  More details on the WDP grant competition and a link to a recording of the OCRA workshop can be found below.

OCRA Workforce Development Program (WDP) Details (from: HERE):


WDP provides funds for workforce development and skills training activities. For the first time since OCRA’s inception in 2005, the agency will offer grants to local units of government for public services such as operations, materials, and equipment related to general types of eligible activities ranging from sector-based strategies focusing on a specific need in the community or region (i.e. welding, heavy equipment operator, etc.) and problem-focused strategies (i.e. life-skills, interviewing, basic math, etc.) to implementation measures.  This WDP will address the rural skills gap by providing communities access to the resources necessary to developing and maintaining a high quality workforce, while also increasing the skills of current workforce members.

The program is competitive and proposals will be due August 28 with applications due October 23rd.  For more information on this opportunity view the workshop presentation below.

7/22/2015 WORKSHOP:

The Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) announces a new Workforce Development Program (WDP).  The WDP is a grant program providing funds for local, county and regional workforce development and skills training activities. OCRA offers grants to local units of government for new or existing services. Anticipated outcomes include an increase in public/private partnerships and a workforce that is highly skilled and ready to proceed.

To view the Workforce Development Program (WDP) presentation click on the following link to watch: http://www.in.gov/ocra/2743.htm

OCRA Information:

The Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs’ (OCRA) mission is to work with local, state, and national partners to provide resources and technical assistance to aid communities in shaping their vision for economic development. For additional information on OCRA and its programs visit www.ocra.in.gov.

Media Contact:

Emily Duncan
Public Relations Director
Office of Lt. Governor Ellspermann
( c ) 317-471-9048

Program Contact:

Matt Crouch
Project Manager
Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs
( o ) 317-750-7670

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