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I’ve been thinking lately about some of the elements that are necessary when creating an innovative Rapid Response system in your state or local area. Took a crack at jotting down a few ideas—please add to this list any thoughts, ideas, concepts, etc that you think are important to achieving a Rapid Response system that lives up to its potential.
By Rob Gamble and David Prickett
“Don't go to the fishpond without a net.”
*This blog is being reposted in response to the ongoing violent storms across the United States. The value of disaster prep and the role of Rapid Response remain of a highest priority.*
As a concept, we all understand the value of being prepared. The recent earthquake in Japan and the subsequent and shocking impact of the tsunami that followed is just another reminder to all of us that preparedness is much more than a concept to admire. It is an absolute necessity in being able to provide an effective, efficient and comprehensive response to natural disasters.
Figuratively and quite literally, the affects of a disaster can be far reaching. Beyond the devastating damage and loss of life that wrenches our collective hearts, businesses and jobs have quite literally been swept away, creating enormous economic challenges to come– in Japan and beyond. Even the United States did not escape unscathed. Nearly half a world away, the tsunami shot across the Pacific and pounded the shores of Northern California and wrecked havoc on the already struggling fishing industry in Crescent City. We can add this to the list of other recent challenges that test our preparedness, including the on-going massive flooding in many northeast and midwest communities.
References to Crescent City, CA:
Without the foresight to prepare, we’d be lost. But we’re not lost; fortunately there are many tools and programs available to address natural disasters and their often harsh affects. Chief among them – at least from the perspective of the workforce system – are Rapid Response and Unemployment Insurance (UI). But having the tools and programs available is not enough, the practitioners of Rapid Response and UI, as well as their many partners and stakeholders must work together in an ongoing basis to develop plans and ensure an up-to-date state of preparedness. It is critical to dedicate staff time and resources in developing a disaster response plan. The time spent planning will pay enormous dividends should a disaster occur. This includes building a broad network of partnerships (see link to sample resource guide below) and gaining a sound understanding of how to coordinate your efforts when needed.
There are national, state, local and even industry- or occupations-specific labor exchanges. In general, they are typically an association of some combination of human resources personnel, employers, workforce agencies, industry group and community organizations working together to improve labor market efficiency. This could include the sharing of best practices, research, technological solutions, labor market information, job each engines, and other things that help employers find the workers they need and for workers to connect with employer. Labor exchange also can identify the training and skill needed for various occupations.
Labor exchanges provide valuable resources for connecting workers and employers... the connections that matter for preparing and building our nation's workforce.
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