Rapid Response

We offer layoff transition services through Rapid Response to help companies and workers deal with the effects of layoffs and company closures. Rapid Response’s central purpose is to help affected workers quickly transition to new employment.

If your company is facing a layoff, Rapid Response, a federal program available to qualifying organizations, can help you manage the process effectively. Rapid Response has two key functions:

  1. Provide immediate assistance to companies and their affected workers
  2. Provide employers with access to a skilled labor pool in their area

Our team can help you consider the transition of your workforce to other companies to save your company money on unemployment benefits. Our experienced workforce professionals can also offer your company coaching through the layoff process, which is particularly valuable for companies that have never been through one before. The team can also prepare and schedule Rapid Response sessions to orient your displaced workers to the workforce services and community resources available to help them get back into the workforce.

How It Works

The Rapid Response transition team will meet with your company to discuss available help. We can work one-on-one with displaced workers to discuss unemployment insurance benefits, job placement services and training options and we can help you coordinate with other services in your area. While many resources are available online, resources are also available at your local American Job Center. We can also provide information and resources onsite via Rapid Response presentations upon request. Topics may include:

  • Unemployment Insurance (UI)
  • Dislocated worker programs offering career and training services
  • Job Center resources
  • Healthcare resources available during your transition
  • Retirement options
  • Topic-specific workshops (resume writing, interviewing, online job search, budgeting, career planning, coping with job loss, etc.)
  • Labor market information
  • Onsite WIOA Dislocated Worker Program registration sessions
  • One-on-one assistance and scheduled visits to the affected worksites
  • Targeted job fairs for affected workers
  • Transition centers and onsite assistance for affected workers

*Services can be tailored to meet the needs of the business and its workers. The services are available at no cost to the company because of funding provided by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).

Benefits for Employers

Providing Rapid Response services to your workers during layoffs or plant closures results in multiple benefits to you as an employer.

  • Higher productivity and worker morale and lower absenteeism possible during the layoff process.
  • Lower UI costs as workers may become reemployed quicker when services are provided prior to the layoff.
  • Decreased likelihood of work disruptions during the layoff process.
  • Better public and community relations likely when a company highlights the services it’s providing to its workers during the layoff event.

Notice Requirements for Layoffs

In some cases, under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, federal/state law may require written notice be provided 60 days in advance of a business closing or workforce reduction. Employers must comply with both laws if they both apply. Once notice is provided, the Rapid Response team will work with a company to present information to workers affected by the layoff. Learn more on the WI DWD website.


Retirement and Healthcare Coverage: Q&A for Dislocated Workers | This PDF booklet addresses some of the common questions dislocated workers ask. In addition, there is a brief guide to additional resources at the back. Together they can help you in making critical decisions about your healthcare coverage and your retirement benefits.

Contact Us

For additional information and help, please contact the staff listed below.

 Kate Owens, Regional Employer Services Coordinator