Rapid Response - Solutions for Economic Transition
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 07

Post-Summit: A New Year for Rapid Response

First I want to wish all of the members of the Rapid Response Community a Happy New Year.  I hope that your holidays were safe, happy, and healthy.

For those of you who attended the Road to Recovery 2010 ReEmployment Summit, I hope you found it valuable, particularly those sessions focused on Rapid Response… including the 1/2-day Rapid Response Community Session on December 16.  I hope you will use the comment feature on this blog to provide any feedback on things you liked, things you thought could be improved, or any other issues or concerns you would like to raise.

For those of you who were unable to attend due to weather or travel funds or other reasons, this blog post is intended to provide a brief overview of some of the things that I thought were the most important take-aways.  For those who were there this may be a bit of a refresher for you—but if you have other things that you want to raise, again: please provide them in the comment section of the blog.


Dec 08

Putting More Jobs in the Hands of American Jobseekers

The National Labor Exchange (NLX)

By Pam Gerassimides
National Labor Exchange
Director and Associate
Executive Director


Persistent structural unemployment and continuing layoffs -- workforce development professionals are well aware of the grim reality and challenges facing American jobseekers today. 

Consistently, media and press ruefully remind us that “there are NO jobs out there for anyone.”  This of course is a literary exaggeration. There are always available jobs in an economy such as ours.   The Bureau of Labor Statistics in its most recent Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) report says approximately 3.4 million job opportunities were available on the last business day of October 2010.  A more accurate description or our predicament is to say: “today our supply of jobseekers exceeds our available demand for work.” 

Not as catchy for news articles, but it points to one of our system’s primary missions -- namely facilitating the national labor exchange by capturing all job opportunities and making them available to the millions of our customers who are unemployed, underemployed or looking for work.   


Dec 07

Customer-Centric Models for Rapid Response

By Celina Shands Gradijan
Full Capacity Marketing, Inc.


In our last blog, we provided an online evaluation to help you determine how well your Rapid Response (RR) teams are integrated as part of business services in your local workforce investment area.  One of the questions that scored the lowest (41.7%) asked if RR teams utilize a standard set of probing questions to uncover the needs of a business prospect during an initial meeting. This is important for several reasons:

  1. It allows everyone associated with business services to standardize a consultative sales process.
  2. The answers to these probing questions can be aggregated frequently to provide real-time market research on customers’ needs.
  3. It’s a roadmap to match the most appropriate solution with a business’ most pressing needs.

Uncovering a business’ critical needs and finding an immediate solution is the first-step in building credibility and trust. This may or may not be a downsizing situation, or an immediate match for RR services—it doesn’t matter. The goal of an integrated business services delivery system is to bring together all service providers that work collaboratively in the best interest of the business (customer-centric model) versus the requirements of the funding stream (funding-based model).


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