The Kansas Department of Commerce has initiated its Rapid Response program for workers laid off by the closure of the Dessin Fournir furniture company in Plainville.
The Rapid Response program helps employers and employees who are in transition mode. It is available statewide and provides early intervention re-employment services at no cost to companies and their employees affected by layoffs and/or closings. Rapid Response is mandated and funded by USDOL’s Workforce Investment Act through the Dislocated Worker funding stream.
- In Kansas, Rapid Response services are provided at the local level, led by a Rapid Response Coordinator (there are five in Kansas). When the Rapid Response team becomes aware of a layoff or closing, company officials are contacted (within 24 hours of notice) to establish a good working relationship and offer informational meetings for the laid off workers.
- At these meetings, individuals are informed about services and benefits designed to help them get back on their feet, including:
- In some cases, there may be a job fair held in conjunction to the informational meeting. This can be a great connection for not only the workers who are losing their jobs, but also for local companies who are looking to fill positions.
- Laid off workers are referred to their local Workforce Center where they can receive individualized assistance best suited to their needs, whether that is a referral to partner/community services, training or steps to take to a new career.
- In a nutshell, Rapid Response is early intervention to assist workers who have been laid off by providing services that will assist them in transitioning to the next phase of their working career as quickly as possible.