The West Central Wisconsin Workforce Development Board offers layoff transition services in conjunction with the WorkSmart Network as part of the Rapid Response Program to help companies and workers deal with the effects of layoffs and plant closures. As part of the program design, the Rapid Response team provides information about available resources and services to affected workers to help with the layoff transition.
Rapid Response Program
If you are facing a layoff, Rapid Response, a federal program available to qualifying organizations, can help you manage the process effectively. Rapid Response has two key functions:
- Provide employers with access to a skilled labor pool in their area
- Provide immediate assistance to companies facing layoffs
The Workforce Resource, Inc. in conjunction with the West Central Wisconsin Workforce Development Board, and its business service team can help you consider the transition of your workforce to other companies to save your company money on unemployment benefits. Our experienced workforce professionals can also offer your company coaching through the layoff process, which is particularly valuable for companies that have never been through one before. The team can also prepare and schedule Rapid Response sessions to orient your displaced workers to the workforce services and community resources available to help them get back into the workforce.
Resources through Rapid Response
Your Rapid Response transition team will meet with you; work one-on-one with displaced workers to discuss unemployment insurance benefits, job placement services, and training options; and help you coordinate with other services in your area. While many resources are available online, resources are also available at your local Job Center. We can also provide information and resources on-site via Rapid Response presentations upon request. Topics may include:
- Unemployment Insurance (UI)
- Dislocated worker programs offering employment and training services
- Job Center resources
- Healthcare resources available during employment transition
- Retirement options
- Topic-specific workshops (resume writing, interviewing, online job search, household budgeting, career planing, coping with job loss, etc.)
- Labor market information
- On-site WIOA Dislocated Worker Program registration sessions
- One-on-one assistance and scheduled visits to the affected worksites
- Targeted job fairs for affected workers
- Transition centers and on-site assistance for affected workers
*Services can be tailored to meet the needs of the business and its workers. The service are available at no cost to the company because of funding provided by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.
Benefits for Employers
Providing Rapid Response services to your workers during layoffs or plant closings results in multiple benefits to you as an employer. Benefits may include:
- Higher productivity and worker morale and lower absenteeism during the layoff process
- Lower unemployment insurance costs as workers may become re-employed more quickly when services are provided prior to layoff
- Decreased likelihood work disruptions during the layoff process
- Better public and community relations are likely when a company highlights the services it’s providing to help affected workers during a layoff event
Notice Requirements for Layoffs
In some cases, under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, federal/state law may require written notice be provided 60 days in advance of a business closing or workforce reduction. Employers must comply with both laws if they both apply. Once notice is provided, the Rapid Response team will work with a company to present information to laid-off (dislocated) workers affected by the layoff.
Rapid Response Team
In West Central Wisconsin, the Rapid Response Team is comprised of representatives from:
- West Central Wisconsin Workforce Development Board (WDBWCW)
- Workforce Resource, Inc.
- State of Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development
- America’s Job Centers of Wisconsin
- Local and State workforce and economic development partners