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Rapid Response has one overarching goal: “to…enable dislocated workers to transition to new employment as quickly as possible.” This deceptively simple statement is the foundational principle of Rapid Response—it tells you what your outcome has to be, and it opens the door for all the flexibility that you will need to achieve that goal. (Here’s a link to the full text of the regulations, in case you are interested—click on Sections 665.300 through 665.340 for specifics.)
The primary purpose of Rapid Response is a new job—the purpose is NOT simply to sign workers up for UI and enroll workers in One-Stop programs. The core of Rapid Response is to complete essentially a transaction—to move a worker from a job that is going away to a new job. While certainly there are many services, activities, benefits, etc. that can facilitate the outcome, it is important to remember that the ultimate result is a job. The outcome is more important than the process.
This doesn’t mean that UI or One-Stop programs or the rest of the continuum of services and resources available are not important or valuable—they of course are incredibly so. What it means is that as a Rapid Responder, your focus has be on gathering as much intelligence, building as many partnerships, participating in as many networks, and developing as many strategies as you can to get as many affected worker back to work as quickly as possible. It’s all about creating solutions for each customer based on their specific needs with the goal of getting them back to work.
Rapid Response has often been wrongly perceived as responsible only for registering dislocated workers for UI. The true goal of Rapid Response is to eliminate the need for dislocated workers to receive UI or to reduce the number of weeks that they claim.
Rapid Response equals jobs. We think this perspective on Rapid Response is beneficial. It allows you to create effective marketing and outreach around a simple concept that everyone can understand. It enables you to approach Rapid Response with an outcome-based mindset, creating valuable solutions for your customers. It may even enable you to prevent a worker from losing their job. Remember, even if the transition to new employment isn’t seamless, Rapid Response can greatly reduce the weeks of unemployment experienced by the dislocated worker. This is a great service to the worker, their family and the local economy. In essence, by organizing Rapid Response services around this fairly simple equation (Rapid Response = jobs) your efforts will result in the creation of a comprehensive system for managing economic transition and becomes a key component of the economic development in your regional economy.
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