Dislocated Worker Program – Rapid Response Team

Established by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), the Dislocated Worker – Rapid Response Program, encompasses strategies and activities for state or designated entities to respond as quickly as possible following an announcement of permanent closure, mass layoff, or natural or other disasters that result in a mass job loss.

For over 20 years, the Missouri AFL-CIO has been a state partner to connect dislocated workers to the resources and assistance they need to re-enter the job market quickly following a closure or layoff. As part of these efforts, program staff host Surviving Layoff Workshops and Transition Team Trainings. With the understanding that unemployment presents a host of challenges, the workshop and training are intended to give workers the opportunity to engage in financial planning and coping strategies to ensure that the duration of unemployment is not only manageable but, most importantly, temporary.

During the workshop and training, program staff present information on the following topics:

  • Taking charge of personal finances by creating a financial action plan
  • Looking for a new job and establishing a job search action plan
  • Managing stress by understanding it is okay to discuss the situation with your family and access state resources as needed
  • Contacting your union and the AFL-CIO community to learn about helpful resources that may be available

In contrast to the Surviving Layoff Workshop which happens following a closure or lay off, the Transition Team Training takes place if there is sufficient time given in advance of a layoff or closure. In that case, program staff will train a small number of workers to act as peer counselors. The training focuses on the same aspects of unemployment and is provided with the intention of providing wrap-around assistance so workers can serve as resources to each other.

The Missouri AFL-CIO administers the organized labor component of the state’s Rapid Response Program, providing resources and assistance to laid-off or dislocated union workers.

Rapid Response is authorized by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act at 134(a)(2)(A). The Rapid Response Regulations are found at 20 CFR 682.300.

Jim Kolve

Dislocated Worker Coordinator – Missouri AFL-CIO

[email protected]