Abstract Background Practitioners often require training and technical assistance to build their capacity to select, adapt, and implement evidence-based interventions (EBIs). The CDC Colorectal Cancer Control Program (CRCCP) aims to promote CRC screening to increase population-level screening. This study identified the training and technical assistance (TA) needs and preferences for training related to the implementation of EBIs among CRCCP grantees. Methods Twenty-nine CRCCP grantees completed an online survey about their screening activities, training and technical assistance in 2012. They rated desire for training on various evidence-based strategies to increase cancer screening, evidence-based competencies, and program management topics. They also reported preferences for training formats and facilitators and barriers to trainings. Results Many CRCCP grantees expressed the need for training with regards to specific EBIs, especially system-level and provider-directed EBIs to promote CRC screening. Grantees rated these EBIs as more difficult to implement than client-oriented EBIs. Grantees also reported a moderate need for training regarding finding EBIs, assessing organizational capacity, implementing selected EBIs, and conducting process and outcome evaluations. Other desired training topics reported with higher frequency were partnership development and data collection/evaluation. Grantees preferred training formats that were interactive such as on-site trainings, webinars or expert consultants. Conclusions Public health organizations need greater supports for adopting evidence-based interventions, working with organizational-level change, partnership development and data management. Future capacity building efforts for the adoption of EBIs should focus on systems or provider level interventions and key processes for health promotion and should be delivered in a variety of ways to assist local organizations in cancer prevention and control.