Rapid Response - Solutions for Economic Transition
May 20

May 2011: Rapid Response Infrastructure: The Foundation of High-Quality Solutions

As our regular participants will note, much of the great content that appears in this Rapid Response community focuses on innovative ideas, unique approaches, and strategic partnerships.  These are, of course, all things that make Rapid Response the incredibly valuable to workers, businesses, and communities across the country.  But I wanted to talk for a bit about something else that can make or break your Rapid Response system—it’s not as exciting, but it’s critical.  I’m talking about “infrastructure.”  Without an infrastructure that encourages innovation, that promotes consistency, that strives for aversion, that is based upon concrete principles, strategies, policies and procedures, a high-functioning Rapid Response mechanism is difficult to achieve.

Effective infrastructure can, of course, take a wide variety of forms, and I’m not promoting any particular method, structure, format, etc.  What I am suggesting, though, is that continuous review of infrastructure, and continuous improvement where necessary, ensures that your foundation for success is always strong.

Some things that I think about when I think about infrastructure include:

  • Written and widely disseminated policies establishing Rapid Response process, procedures, etc
  • A detailed description of Rapid Response policies, organizations, and practices included in the WIA State Plan
  • Effective communications procedures and vehicles (internal)
  • A commitment to ongoing staff training
  • Policy/procedure that promotes development and maintenance of strong partnerships
  • Rapid Response incorporated into state or local policy making (strategic, layoff aversion, business services, economic development, etc)
  • Policy recognizing the role of Rapid Response in economic development and breaking down barriers between organizations
  • Exemptions to things like work-hour rules to ensure all customers receive timely, high-quality, and consistent solutions regardless of when a layoff may occur

Not sure if your infrastructure enables your Rapid Response mission to be fully realized?  Check out the Rapid Response Self-Assessment tool that can provide one way to gauge infrastructure.

Lets get some discussion here.  Anyone have other tools or ways to address the infrastructure conversation?  Anybody have anything to share—policies, manuals, training strategies, etc?  We’d love to hear about anything you’ve got that you think works well—and you may just help your colleagues around the country.  Join in!

Links to participate are provided below. 

  • Upload Blog and Resource Submissions: Click Here
  • Email Content: ryan.jeff@dol.gov
  • Start or join the forum discussions on Infrastructure: Click Here
  • Submit your insight on postings by simply typing your comments below.


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