Virginia Career Works Blue Ridge Career Centers provide Rapid Response services to employers in the region in a confidential manner and at no cost. These services assist both the employer and employees affected by layoffs or plant closures and they provide access to user-friendly resources and information to help transition affected workers into reemployment.
Providing Rapid Response services to your workers during layoffs or plant closings will result in multiple benefits to you as an employer and will help assure:
- Higher productivity, better worker morale, and lower absenteeism by reducing stress;
- Lower unemployment insurance costs as workers become re-employed faster when early intervention services are begun prior to the layoff;
- Decreased likelihood of retaliations, theft, or other work disruptions;
- Decreased time and resources spent by Human Resources staff; and
- Media and rumor management control and better public relations.
Virginia Career Works Blue Ridge Career Centers has a variety of resources available to employers and employees affected by layoffs or plant closures. These resources include, but are not limited to:
- On-site initial meetings with employer representatives to gather details surrounding the layoff and answer questions from employer regarding process and procedures
- Assessment of affected employees need for retraining in order to facilitate rapid re-employment
- Facilitation of workshops for affected employees, including topics such as resume and cover letter composition
- Access and referral to services provided by our career centers and partner agencies
- Information on filing and receiving unemployment insurance through the Virginia Employment Commission
- Rapid re-employment assistance, including job search and placement assistance
- Information regarding COBRA and other health insurance providers
These services are provided by the local Rapid Response Team, which is coordinated by the Regional Rapid Response Coordinator, Beckie Cox at [email protected]
WORKER ADJUSTMENT AND RETRAINING NOTIFICATION (WARN) ACT
The WARN Act of 1989 offers protection to workers, their families and communities by requiring employers to provide notice 60 days in advance of covered plant closings and covered mass layoffs. This notice must be provided to either affected workers or their representatives (e.g., a labor union); to the State dislocated worker unit; and to the appropriate unit of local government. To learn more about circumstances surrounding employers who must file a WARN notice, please refer to the fact sheet provided by the Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration or contact Brett Tavel, Rapid Response State Coordinator at [email protected].
While sometimes plant closings and mass layoffs are unavoidable, opportunities may exist to save jobs and avoid resulting hardships imposed on individuals and communities when a plant or business closes. Virginia Career Works Blue Ridge Career Centers has an array of tools that may be used to assist local employers and avert potential layoffs.
TRAINING AND HIRING INCENTIVES –
- Virginia Career Works Blue Ridge Career has access and information regarding federal, state, and/or local funding that can be used to offset hiring costs for employees as well as funding to up-skill and retrain your existing workforce. There are also programs available that provide trial periods for potential workers in order to minimize risk of hiring employees that are not retained*.
LABOR MARKET ANALYSIS –
- Virginia Career Works Blue Ridge Career has the ability to provide labor market analysis and research to business who are at-risk of closure or mass reductions in force. Many tools exist at no cost to the region’s employers and can be accessed remotely.
- STATEWIDE RAPID RESPONSE FUNDING – The Commonwealth of Virginia’s Statewide Rapid Response Program is available to assist businesses that are at-risk of closing or mass reductions in force. The Rapid Response Coordinator, Beckie Cox, is available to meet with businesses to discuss strategies for maintaining a successful business and can also provide funds to promote a successful workforce.
- COLLABORATIVE RELATIONSHIPS – In some instances, state and local entities may be able to provide additional technical, financial, and/or functional assistance to businesses that are at-risk for layoffs. Virginia Career Works Blue Ridge Career will ensure that effective communication to all providers of services will occur.
*contingent on eligibility determination