The DCEO Regional Workforce Management Division in conjunction with the Special Projects Division of the Bureau of Workforce Development administers the state's "rapid response" and "mass layoff" assistance programs by allocating federal job training funds to local Illinois workNet™ Centers. Staff at these offices provide "core", "intensive" and "training services" so as to improve the long-term employment outcomes for individuals receiving assistance. The dislocated worker program is available in twenty-six Local Workforce Investment Areas (LWIAs) throughout Illinois.
How Illinois Conducts Rapid Response
Initial on-site meeting:
The DCEO Regional Workforce Management Division staff arranges the initial on-site meeting with the States' Rapid Response Team and the company, including union officials (if applicable). The meeting is generally scheduled on the premises of the dislocating company. This meeting clarifies the expectations of and defines the role of each member of the Rapid Response Team. Specific information is elicited from company management and the union which aids the Rapid Response Team in planning for services. The team obtains the commitment of management and the union to actively participate in the planning and implementation of key project activities such as the Worker Survey, Pre-Layoff Workshops, Outreach, and placement activities. The ultimate goal of the initial on-site meeting is scheduling pre-layoff workshops for the dislocated workers.
Rapid Response Team members introduce workers to the services that will be made available to them to ease the transition to employment. A survey of the workers is conducted to obtain their direct input concerning the types of services and retraining options they would like to see made available. Stress and financial counselors may present information which will aid the worker in recognizing and overcoming various causes and manifestations of stress which are common during dislocation events and to assist the affected worker in averting the potential need for debt restructuring. Additional state agencies or community-based organizations may participate as appropriate.
After the workshop(s) DCEO Regional Workforce Management Division staff has a continuing role in dislocation events. In conjunction with the Local Workforce Investment Area Representative, we assimilate a plan for services for the workers. This plan is based on individual needs conveyed through a survey given at the pre-layoff workshop(s). Through the plan of service, a funding strategy is formulated. There may be a need for a petition to procure Trade Adjustment Assistance if the dislocation is trade impacted. Additional funding may be required from the state reserve level 1S funds or a National Emergency Grant from the national reserve level if the dislocation warrants such actions.
For each dislocation event the DCEO Regional Workforce Management Division staff analyze reports from the state's IWDS MIS on a monthly basis to determine event plan progress. Our staff examines progress against the plan and provides any assistance necessary to ensure Illinois' dislocated workers the best services possible.
The Rapid Response Team
In addition to the Regional Workforce Management staff from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the team includes:
- The Local Workforce Investment Area Representative (LWIA), who is responsible for coordinating service delivery for the dislocated workers
- The AFL-CIO Member Assistant Representative, who assists in the facilitation of all phases of rapid response activities and especially for dislocation events involving organized labor. Manages the statewide Peer Counselor Program.
- The IDES Program Representative, who is responsible for coordinating IDES services, such as "Tele-Serve" for unemployment insurance benefits, Skills Match, and Labor Market Information