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Rapid Response General Information

The State of Michigan has received Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notifications (WARNs) from employers, in compliance with the federal WARN Act, since it was implemented in 1986. These notices indicate how many workers will permanently lose their jobs due to plant closures or mass layoffs. The number of affected workers specified in these notices range from less than 50 workers to more than 3,500 workers. The most important service the Workforce Development Agency, State of Michigan Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Section provides is access to information. Upon receiving notice of a planned layoff, staff from the WIA Section contact the employer by phone to explain the services that can be provided (at no cost to the company or the workers) and request information about the layoff and the workers being affected. The WIA Section initiates a meeting in response to any information received concerning a business closing or layoff, including news articles, phone tips and Trade Adjustment Assistance Petitions.

What is a Rapid Response Team Meeting? 

The meeting involves a mix of state agencies and local service providers, the private sector and organized labor (if employees are covered by a collective bargaining agreement). In addition to a WIA Section Coordinator there will be members from several other agencies at the initial meeting to help coordinate and deliver information and services. The purpose of the meeting is to determine the current situation of the employer and the employees. They

  • Obtain information about the characteristics of the workforce (e.g., education level, skill level, barriers to re-employment);
  • Determine what services are needed by the employees and what is being offered by the employer (and union, if applicable);
  • Provide an overview of available dislocated worker services;
  • Provide general information about unemployment benefits;
  • Provide information on available services, including Joint Adjustment Committees, worker orientation (information) meetings, and Michigan Works! One-Stop Service Centers;
  • Determine responsibilities of the parties for carrying out various aspects of the agreed upon adjustment programs.

What is a Joint Adjustment Committee?

When a company is forced to reduce it's workforce, one of the means that the State has of assisting the workers and the employer is by establishing a Joint Adjustment Committee (JAC), or labor-management committee. The JAC is made up of representatives from the employer and the employees, plus a neutral chairperson to guide them. It's role is to assist the workers by being a source of information about the services available. A JAC also assists by identifying services needed by the workers to address specific concerns that they may have, such as, stress management, finances, or job search techniques.

Related Content
 •  WARN Act
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