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The Workforce Development Agency, State of Michigan, formerly Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth, Rapid Response Section, has overseen Michigan's dislocated worker program since 1986. Effective July 1, 2000, the program is funded through the federal Workforce Investment Act (WIA). Under the Act, the Rapid Response Section is assigned specific responsibilities, which include acting as the official state recipient for Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act notices and responding to business closures or mass layoffs covered by WARN. Michigan's dislocated worker program is designed to provide layoff aversion assistance, rapid response, pre-layoff activities, and linkages to Michigan Works! Service Centers, the Michigan Unemployment Agency, and the Human Resources Development, Inc., Peer to Peer Program. These services are designed to help dislocated workers obtain suitable employment as quickly as possible. Services are available to workers who have lost their jobs as a result of:
  • A mass layoff or permanent business closing, or 
  • A natural or other disaster resulting in mass job dislocation 

The dislocated worker program bases its service strategy on the following principle: facilitate rapid readjustment by providing services that will assist workers with their transition back into the workforce. The Workforce Investment Act provides for a local delivery system, which in Michigan is administered by a network of twenty-five Michigan Works! Agencies. Michigan Works! operates more than 100 Service Centers throughout the state and provides a comprehensive, timely array of re-employment services tailored to workers' individual needs.

Major activities and services under the Workforce Investment Act include:

Rapid Response: When the Rapid Response Section obtains information about major job dislocations, it responds with on-site services to assist workers facing a job loss. Rapid Response services include:

  • Engaging in on-site contact with the employer, worker representative(s), union representative(s), if applicable, and community representative(s) to: (1) assess the company's layoff plans and the schedule for layoffs, (2) determine the potential for averting the layoffs, and (3) gather background information on the workers and their re-employment prospects in the local community;

  • Providing information and access to unemployment insurance benefits, Michigan Works! Service Centers, and employment and training activities (including Trade Adjustment Assistance and North America Free Trade Agreement/Transitional Adjustment Assistance, if applicable);

  • Providing guidance and financial support in establishing a labor management or workforce transition committee;

  • Providing emergency assistance adapted to the particular layoff or disaster, which may include a National Emergency Grant; and

  • Assisting the local Michigan Works! agency and chief elected official in developing a coordinated response to the event.

Re-employment Services: Michigan Works! Agencies oversee the delivery of these services - categorized as core, intensive, and training - which are designed to prepare participants for re-entry into the job market.

Core Services: These services are available to all adults who seek assistance. Core services may include, but are not limited to, labor market information, access to the Michigan Talent Bank, outreach, intake, orientation, assessment of skill level, job search and placement assistance, and career counseling.

Intensive Services: Intensive services to dislocated workers are designed for those who are unable to obtain employment through core services and have been determined to be in need of more intensive services in order to obtain employment. Intensive services may include comprehensive and specialized assessments of skill levels, individual and group counseling, development of an individual employment plan, individual counseling and career planning, case management for participants, and short-term prevocational services.

Training Services: Training in specific, demand occupations may be available to displaced workers who are not able to find employment through intensive services. Training services may include Individual Training Accounts, customized training, on-the-job training, and training for special populations.

The Rapid Response Section's mission is to provide the information, support, and resources to dislocated workers that will enable them to make a successful adjustment and quick transition back into the workforce.

For further information on dislocated worker services, contact:

    Workforce Development Agency, State of Michigan 
    Workforce Investment Act (WIA)
    201 N. Washington Sq., 5th Floor
    Lansing, Michigan 48913
    c/o  Stephanie Beckhorn, WIA Manager
    Phone: (517) 241-4078
    Fax: (517) 373-4648
    TTY: 1-888-605-6722



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