Rapid Response - Solutions for Economic Transition
Mar 24

What’s That Again? ...or Census Data Reveals Surprising Economic Insight into U.S….

What’s That Again? ...or Census Data Reveals Surprising Economic Insight into U.S. Businesses and Job Creation

Citing U.S Census Bureau data, according to a new report out by the Kauffman Foundation, job creation in the United States hit a 29-year low in 2009 at the height of the Great Recession. That takes us back to 1980 when the U.S was in the midst of another recession when interest rate rose and farming, not automobile manufacturing, was particularly hard hit.


Mar 15

There ain’t nuthin’ new!

By Tim Theberge

In 1989, I was in 6th grade. You could buy a 25 MHz computer with a 250 MB hard drive for $6,500 (your eyes aren’t failing you, those are both only “megas”). That same year, Mikhail S. Gorbachev was named Soviet President, tens of thousands of Chinese students took over Beijing's Tiananmen Square in a rally for democracy, the Berlin Wall was opened to the West, US troops invaded Panama seeking capture of General Manuel Noriega, and the ruptured tanker Exxon Valdez sent million of gallons of crude oil into Alaska's Prince William Sound. Those were all memorable events…

Something else was significant that year… or at least interesting to those of us in the workforce investment system. It is a something I found stuck to the back of a binder shoved into the shelves in my cube, “Rapid Response Under EDWAA: ETA Perspectives and Expectations,” which was prepared for Multi-Regional Rapid Response Workshops for State Dislocated Worker Units.


Mar 01

Collecting the Right Information to Tell to Your Story

Can you tell your story? Can you quantity your efforts to tell a compelling account of your efforts to benefit workers, businesses and your community?


Being able to present a convincing argument of the value you provide is important in many ways. It helps in efforts to promote Rapid Response to employers, stakeholders, elected officials at the local and state level, and the even the resident of your Governor’s mansion. It also helps you define what you are doing well and what areas may need improvement.

So, what information do you need to tell your story? Rapid Response touches on so many elements of the workforce system and the economy – layoff aversion/business retention strategies, job training, talent management, reemployment, and others – there is a lot to consider.


Feb 23

Another Tool for the Rapid Response Layoff Aversion and ReEmployment Toolkit

SBA’s Community Advantage Loan Program for Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners

In keeping with February’s theme of entrepreneurship, below is information regarding the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Community Advantage loan program for small business owners and entrepreneurs in traditionally underserved communities. Since they often face challenges gaining access to the capital they need to succeed, having this kind of resource available is often what separates a successful enterprise from one that struggles or fails.

Programs like Community Advantage can be a valuable tool to put in the Rapid Response toolkit. They can assist in layoff aversion and reemployment efforts.


Feb 07

PARTNERSHIP: SHRM and Rapid Response/Layoff Aversion in NH

by Pam Oliwa
Rapid Response Coordinator, New Hampshire


New Hampshire’s Rapid Response and Layoff Aversion Programs have been focusing on partnership development with the Human Resource Association Chapters (Affiliates of the Society for Human Resource Management) since 2009. Our goals were to increase education and awareness, as well as stakeholder utilization of Layoff Aversion and Rapid Response programs and services. Partnership activities included presentations at Chapter meetings throughout the state; participation at the annual State Human Resource Conference; and inclusion in various media outlets for members. This work has not occurred quickly or without challenges. However, with leadership and direction of the Employee Retention Project Manager, Fran Allain, strong partnerships were developed and continue to serve the businesses and workers of New Hampshire.

New Hampshire’s efforts blended traditional methods for partnership building along with a customer-centric model. Initial outreach was directed to state and chapter-based leadership with offers to speak at chapter meetings to provide program overviews and literature. Networking and personal connecting to learn about the organization and the needs of its membership occurred as well. The result was a two-part strategy focused on efficient transfer of information and building relationships for the long-term.


Feb 04

Adding Entrepreneurship to Your Solutions Toolkit

We’ve been hearing a lot about entrepreneurship lately and how it can play an important role in economic growth, innovation, job creation and reemployment. But what exactly is it?

An entrepreneur is typically thought of as someone who takes on the financial obligations and risks of being a small business owner. That is certainly an example of entrepreneurship, but there are other examples as well that can run the gamut in terms of the scale, risk and monetary investment. Entrepreneurship can be as simple as someone offering a service to others in a part-time capacity to a full-blown technology start-up with millions in venture capital. Even an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) is an entrepreneurial endeavor and something that has been in the Rapid Response toolkit for a while as an approach to layoff aversion and minimization.  


Jan 24

Tapping Into the Power of Employee Ownership

A Lay-Off Aversion Strategy

Throughout the economic turmoil of recent years, we’ve been inundated with news about companies laying-off employees in well-meaning attempts to quell red ink and save the company, or worse, closing. With the lingering specter of lost jobs and shuttered buildings, business/plant closings can have a profound negative impact on lives and communities. Whereas layoffs can be temporary, shutting down operations is very often final. However, there is an alternative to consider before the doors are locked, an alternative the takes advantage of the knowledge, experience and expertise of the employees: employee ownership or Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOP).


Jan 21

Rapid Response Team Will Tackle Layoffs

American Express announced that they will layoff approximately 1500 workers at a North Carolina call center. Just last spring the company announced they would build a $600 million data center in the area, so the layoff was unexpected.

The N.C. Governor, Beverly Perdue, has assembled a team of work force development officials, including a Rapid Response Team and workforce system and community college representatives to address the layoffs. She stated: "While I was encouraged to hear company officials say that this decision had nothing to do with North Carolina’s business climate, that doesn’t ease the concerns of employees who are facing uncertain futures.”

Below is the news report.


Jan 14

2010 ReEmployment Summit Presentations Now Available

2010 ReEmployment Summit Presentations Now Available

First, a Special Thanks

To those of you who were able to attend to 2010 National Summit - ROAD TO RECOVERY: Strategies for ReEmployment, we hope you found the conference instructive, productive and enjoyable. From the very positive response we’ve received so far, it appears you did. We appreciate your attendance and participation.

For those who were unable to attend, we missed you and hope to see you are future events.

To ALL of you, thank you for your dedicated service to our nation’s workers and businesses. You are a vital part of our workforce system and your tireless efforts in averting and minimizing layoffs and getting dislocated workers reemployed as soon as possible play an important role in the health and success of our economy.


Jan 13

2011 ETA Budget Update - On the Road to Recovery: Good Jobs for Everyone

Jane Oates, Assistant Secretary, Employment & Training Administration, talks about the 2011 budget and two new Innovation Funds:

  • Workforce Innovation Fund: $107 million in WIA resources - competitive grants to promote innovative approaches to employment and training to help prepare workers for careers in promising industries
  • Youth Innovation Fund: $150 million for out-of-school youth - to create more than 20,000 summer and year-round employment opportunities

Watch video here: http://www.dol.gov/budget/videos.htm
(After clicking on the link, scroll down to see the Assistant Secretary’s video statement about these new Innovation Funds)