Rapid Response - Solutions for Economic Transition
Apr 28

Are You Ready?

By Rob Gamble and David Prickett


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“Don't go to the fishpond without a net.”
Japanese Proverb
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*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:

  • Article: Tsunami surge deals blow to struggling Calif. Town
  • News Video: The Crescent City harbor is expected to be unusable for the foreseeable future, impacting jobs and business.

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.


Apr 08

Making the Connections that Matter

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.


Apr 01

Rapid Response Workgroup Discusses Effective Messaging and Outreach

Rapid Response Workgroup Discusses Effective
Messaging and Outreach – Top 3 Strategies

Celina Shands Gradijan – President/CEO
Full Capacity Marketing, Inc.


Last week,  I participated in a discussion around the best way to develop messages for Rapid Response, and the most cost-effective methods for outreach.  Strategic communications is all about getting the right message to the right person at the right time; it’s not about some magic brochure or marketing piece that has a nice look and feel.  In this day of instant and viral communication,  your best toolkit contains three strategies:

  1. The ability and right formula for developing good messages;
  2. A well designed website with social media integration that can be updated frequently; and
  3. A coordinated effort among outreach teams and subject matter experts to generate content and messages with the understanding of how to deliver them to target audiences (virtually, written format and one-to-one conversations).