Now that we’ve defined Rapid Response, and discussed its purpose, let’s take a look at when, or under what circumstances, Rapid Response MUST be delivered.



Here is the text of the WIOA Final Rule, at Section 682.302: 


Rapid response must be delivered when one or more of the following circumstances occur:

  1. Notice of a permanent closure of a facility, store, enterprise, or plant, regardless of the number of workers affected;

  2. Notice of a mass layoff as defined in §682.305;

  3. A mass job dislocation resulting from a natural or other disaster;

  4. The filing of a TAA petition



    A few things we should point out here:


    First, these are the circumstances under which Rapid Response MUST be delivered. They are not, however, the only circumstances under which Rapid Response MAY be delivered. States should develop policies and procedures to deliver Rapid Response under additional circumstances that meet the state’s goals or needs of customers.


    Second, that a permanent closure, regardless of the numbers of workers whose jobs are lost, requires Rapid Response activity. This requirement has been strengthened under WIOA; under WIA it was not clearly indicated as a requirement.   


    Third, mass layoff situations. The definition of mass layoff for the purposes of Rapid Response under the WIOA regulations is a significant change from WIA, and we’ll cover it in depth on its own in a future blog due to the complexity of the issue. However, events that meet the definition of mass layoff must trigger Rapid Response delivery as well.


    Fourth, a natural or other disaster that causes mass job dislocation. The regulations do not specifically define “mass job dislocation” in this context, so states may be inclined to use the general mass layoff definition for purposes of disaster response as well.


    And finally, when a TAA petition is filed, Rapid Response must be delivered. We will cover this in greater detail in a later blog, but we should note that this does not require Rapid Response services to be provided AGAIN to workers who received Rapid Response services prior to the TAA petition being filed. The Rapid Response team should determine whether or not providing additional Rapid Response services following the filing of a TAA petition would make sense in each specific instance. Of course, if a TAA petition is filed and Rapid Response was not previously delivered to the affected workers, it must be delivered upon filing of the petition.


    In our next entry in this series we’ll cover how the Regulations define “mass layoffs” in the context of Rapid Response.


    Please share any thoughts or comments below!