The Department of Labor has many resources that are very beneficial to laid off workers and employers. This is one of those that is available for emergencies. (Editor's Note)
Being laid off from your job is one of the most traumatic events you can experience in life. However, you do not need to go through this transition alone. Working with your employer, there are services and resources that can be brought to you, on site at your company prior to your layoff date. These services and resources are part of a program called Rapid Response, which will customize services and resources to your needs and the needs of your company, with a goal of getting you back to work as soon as possible and minimize the disruptions on your life that a layoff will cause. The Rapid Response team will provide you the means to maintain an income (unemployment insurance), information on health insurance options, access to skills upgrading and training resources, and much more. This service is extremely valuable: the earlier services are begun, the better. Services and resources vary, so be sure to attend Rapid Response sessions when they are offered so that you are aware of the full array of benefits for which you may be eligible.
Notice of LayoffsRapid Response is initiated when the state Dislocated Worker Unit or Rapid Response team learns of impending layoffs. Many companies will contact the Rapid Response team to notify them of a layoff and invite them to come on site to help the workers who will be laid off. In some cases, employers are required to provide 60 days notice before a layoff. Certain mass layoffs and plant closings will meet the criteria of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining (WARN) Act; the criteria are complex, but some basic levels are layoffs of 50 or more workers at a single site, where 50 is at least one-third of the total full-time workforce at that site, or any layoffs of 500 or more workers at a single site. Other times employers may publicly announce layoffs through the media. If you know your company is planning layoffs and have not been told that Rapid Response services will be available to you, or your company laid you off without notice, please contact your state's Rapid Response team.
Rapid Response Services to Laid-Off WorkersDuring Rapid Response, specialists trained to help you cope with job change will gather information about your needs and begin to organize the services necessary to help you return to work. At employee orientation meetings, you will be informed about services and benefits designed to help you get back on your feet, including:
- Career counseling and job search assistance
- Resume preparation and interviewing skills workshops
- Local labor market facts and figures
- Unemployment insurance
- Education and training opportunities
- Health benefits and pensions
Once again, services, resources and benefits vary from state to state; attending any Rapid Response events will provide you with the information you need in your particular case.
Connections to Other Re-Employment ServicesIn addition to many direct services, Rapid Response on-site meetings will introduce you to many other program partners and their representatives, who often have access to further resources.
Perhaps the most important of these Rapid Response partners is the One-Stop Career Center. The One-Stop system was designed to bring together many separate partners to seamlessly provide an array of services, from resume preparation to job search to placement to supportive services, for anyone who wishes to have access to them. Every state has a One-Stop network that is open to all residents, including those who have been laid off or expect to be laid off from their jobs.