Delta Regional Authority

DRA 2017 Funding Opportunity now open. Click here to link directly with DRA website.

For more information and/or technical assistance, please contact RPC Director of Economic Development Maggie Woodruff at or 504-483-8502.

The Delta Regional Authority works to improve regional economic opportunity by helping to create jobs, build communities, and improve the lives of the 10 million people who reside in the 252 counties and parishes of the eight-state Delta region. Led by the Delta Regional Authority Board-comprised of the Federal Co-Chairman, appointed by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, and the governors of the eight states-the Delta Regional Authority fosters local and regional partnerships that address economic and social challenges to ultimately strengthen the Delta economy and the quality of life for Delta residents.
Established in 2000 by Congress, the Delta Regional Authority makes strategic investments of federal appropriations into the physical and human infrastructure of Delta communities. Through the States’ Economic Development Assistance Program, these investments help to improve transportation and basic public infrastructure and to strengthen our workforce development system and local business environments. The Delta Regional Authority supports job creation and economic development through innovative approaches to growing local and regional leadership, increasing access to quality healthcare, and boosting opportunities for entrepreneurs to obtain affordable capital.
The 252 counties and parishes served by the Delta Regional Authority make up the most distressed area of the country. The time for action has arrived and the Delta Regional Authority is poised to work with local, state, and federal leaders to bring investment and opportunity back to the Delta region.
DRA invests in Economically Distressed Areas, defined as those areas exhibiting one or more of the following:

  • Unemployment of one (1)% above the national average
  • Per Capita Income is 80% or less of the national average
  • Or Special Need based on unemployment due to economic conditions such as out-migration, base closures, etc.

SEDAP focuses on JOB RETENTION and JOB CREATION with an emphasis in the following areas:

  • Public Infrastructure (access roads, sewer/water) to enhance access to economic development projects (business parks, call centers, ports)
  • Transportation Improvements to facilitate economic development
  • Business Development with an emphasis on entrepreneurship
  • Workforce Development / Job Training


  • Only member states, public agencies and not-for-profit entities
  • Project must be sustainable after DRA investment expires
  • Projects awarded based on level of distress, quantifiable project benefits (number of jobs created, number of people affected), consistency with regional priorities

Tier 1 Projects must meet all three federal priorities:

  • Job creation and/or retention, protected with a participation agreement
  • DRA funds will leverage other sources of public and/or private funds
  • The project will have a regional impact

Typical Award Range: $75,000 - $250,000

DRA Parishes served by the Regional Planning Commission include: Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard and St. Tammany.  For information and assistance please contact Maggie Woodruff at 504-483-8502 or


Delta Regional Authority, state and local partners invest $10 million in Louisiana Delta

CLARKSDALE, Miss. – The Delta Regional Authority and its partners are investing more than $10 million in federal, state, and local resources to support small business owners and entrepreneurs, workers and their families by improving economic development, workforce training, and job creation in Louisiana’s Delta region, Delta Regional Authority Federal Co-Chairman Chris Masingill announced today.

“The DRA is excited to announce another year of investing into the people, small businesses, and infrastructure that make Louisiana a great place to create jobs, grow businesses, and raise a family,” Chairman Masingill said. “These investments strategically leverage funding for projects that will help to address the infrastructure, training, and public service needs of our Delta communities while driving economic development and growing small businesses and entrepreneurs.”
The thirteen new investments, including workforce training and infrastructure improvements that support economic development, leverage $1.6 million in DRA resources into $10 million in total public and private investment for Louisiana’s Delta communities, their residents, and their economies.

“The State's Economic Development Assistance Program has become a vital part of public funding for economic development and infrastructure improvements.  DRA funds, along with leveraged dollars from both public and private sources, continue to assist in making Louisiana a viable destination for business and an attractive place to live and raise a family,” said Doyle Robinson, DRA board designee for Governor Jindal.

These investments are expected to help create and retain 1,171 jobs for local residents, train 117 workers for jobs in their communities, and link 3,500 families to clean and safe water and sewer services.

# of Projects     

DRA Investment     

Leveraged Funds     

Total Investment





The investments are made through the DRA States’ Economic Development Assistance Program, the agency’s main federal funding program that invests in basic public infrastructure, transportation infrastructure, workforce development, small business and entrepreneurship, health access, and economic recovery projects in the 252 counties and parishes of the eight-state Delta region. DRA coordinates directly with Louisiana’s seven planning and development districts in the region for program funding implementation.

These federal investments require a minimal investment of state funds that can bring a large return in DRA and other agency funding and result in a great economic impact for the Delta region of Louisiana.

"The Delta Regional Authority's investment announcement will breathe new life into the Delta region's economy through improving economic development, workforce training, and job creation. I am a strong believer in the effectiveness of workforce training and developing the skills of our youth in order to fulfill Louisiana's growing workforce demands, and our Delta communities will benefit greatly in the short-and long-term," U.S. Senator David Vitter said. "Thanks again to the Delta Regional Authority and its partners for their important contribution to the future success of Louisiana."

“Louisiana can’t have a thriving economy with an aging infrastructure and an ill-equipped workforce. These important programs will give areas along the Mississippi Delta a fighting chance at attracting new jobs, opening new businesses, and growing our rural economy in Louisiana,” U.S. Congressman Ralph Abraham (LA-5) said.


  • St. Bernard Parish Digital Infrastructure, Chalmette (LA-1): Establishing a functional GIS system for St. Bernard Parish Government to meet local and regional recovery needs and economic development goals. DRA Investment: $70,000; Leveraged Public Investment: $1,400,000.
  • Mobile Hospitality Industry Training Unit, New Orleans (LA-1, 2): Purchase of a Mobile Hospitality Industry Training Unit to enhance Reconcile New Orleans’ workforce development training program and grow its offsite catering business with a full-service mobile catering kitchen and training unit outfitted with the necessary training equipment for up to 20 students at a time to receive hands-on training for catering and foodservice events, developing skills in customer service, front of house and back of house restaurant and catering, in addition to soft skills (10 jobs to be created, 10 jobs to be retained, and 100 workers to be trained). DRA Investment: $100,000; Leveraged Public Investment: $35,000.
  • Acadiana Planning Commission composition and services, 8-county region (LA-3, 4, 5): In response to the needs analysis conducted under a previous project assessing the reintroduction of a planning and development commission, SCPDC will continue the formation and staffing of the developing Acadiana Planning Commission to best meet the needs of jurisdictions in the Acadiana region (7 jobs to be retained). DRA Investment: $100,000.
  • Emergency Sewer System Rehabilitation, Campti (LA-4): Emergency funding to allow the Town of Campti sewer system to meet LDEQ enforced requirements, affecting the public health and economic growth in Natchitoches, Grant, Rapides, and Avoyelles Parishes (100 jobs to be retained and 578 families to be affected). DRA Investment: $105,051.
  • Natural Advantage Wastewater Service, Oakdale (LA-4): Construction of a lift station and force main from the Natural Advantage (NA) Facility to Oakdale's wastewater treatment plant to allow for NA expansion (7 jobs to be created and 86 jobs to be retained). DRA Investment: $185,800; Leveraged Public Investment: $40,000; Private Capital Investment: $500,000.
  • Plaisance Emergency Water Redevelopment, Opelousas (LA-4): Emergency redevelopment of the Plaisance Water System so that it's a reliable and sustainable source of clean, potable drinking water for residents, Ventura Foods, the St. Landry Parish Visitor Center, and other local businesses (750 jobs to be retained and 2,045 families affected). DRA Investment: $90,000.
  • Delta Work Ready Academy Startup, Rayville (LA-5): Planning and development of a Delta Work Ready Academy for northeast Louisiana region that will provide work readiness and technical skills training annually for approximately 350 over-aged and historically disadvantaged students that have dropped out and/or are potential dropouts. DRA Investment: $150,000.
  • Emergency Room Expansion, Winnsboro (LA-5): Necessary expansion and renovation of the existing Franklin Medical Center Emergency Department, which has outgrown its current capacity (3 jobs to be created and 21 jobs to be retained). DRA Investment: $199,124; Leveraged Public Investment: $390,940.
  • Emergency Water Tank Upgrade, Harrisonburg (LA-5): Emergency funding to replace Harrisonburg’s 50,000-gallon ground storage water tank as instructed by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (151 jobs to be retained and 320 families affected). DRA Investment: $128,000; Leveraged Public Investment: $35,000.
  • Madison Parish Rail Spur, Tallulah (LA-5): Construction of an additional rail spur to support the expansion of Continental Rail Corporation, which has recently purchased the short line railroad that services the Madison Parish Port with plans to update and expand its services. DRA Investment: $200,000; Leveraged Public Investment: $172,913; Private Capital Investment: $5,000,000.
  • Providence Foods Warehouse, Lake Providence (LA-5): Construction of a 50' x 60' metal warehouse wired for electricity and a new 20' x 30' cooler for the expansion of Providence Foods, a canning facility that processes and packages green tomatoes and relish (4 jobs to be created and 20 jobs to be retained). DRA Investment: $28,000; Leveraged Public Investment: $245,000; Private Capital Investment: $125,000.
  • Region 8 Workforce Development, Talullah (LA-5): Workforce development programming to connect Region 8 residents with education and skills to improve workforce readiness, to secure living wage jobs, to advance local economies and to help attract employers to the region (17 workers to be trained). DRA Investment: $80,000; Leveraged Public Investment: $536,000.
  • Sewage Treatment Pond Repairs, Melville (LA-5): Emergency funding to correct documented sewer pond overflow and failure due to a breach and subsequent discharge of sewage into the Atchafalaya River/Basin (2 jobs to be created and retained, 550 families to be affected). DRA Investment: $155,500.

About the Delta Regional Authority
The Delta Regional Authority is a federal-state partnership created by Congress in 2000 to help create jobs, build communities, and improve lives through strategic investments in economic development in 252 counties and parishes across eight states. Through the past thirteen investment cycles of the DRA’s States Economic Development Assistance Program, DRA investments have leveraged $2.7 billion in other public and private investment into projects that are helping to create and retain 42,000 jobs, train 13,000 for a 21st century workforce, and provide more than 82,000 families access to clean water and sewer services. Learn more at

For more information and/or technical assistance, please contact RPC Director of Economic Development Maggie Woodruff at or 504-483-8502.

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