In our previous entries we discussed the required elements of Rapid Response under WIOA 682.330. Section 682.340 identifies additional activities that may be undertaken as part of the Rapid Response program. 
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682.340: May other activities be undertaken as part of Rapid Response?


(a) Yes, in order to conduct layoff aversion activities, or to prepare for and respond to dislocation events, in addition to the activities required under § 682.330, a State or designated entity may devise rapid response strategies or conduct activities that are intended to minimize the negative impacts of dislocation on workers, businesses, and communities and ensure rapid reemployment for workers affected by layoffs.


This paragraph is specifically designed to allow for innovative approaches and to ensure additional flexibility to prepare for and respond to layoffs, and to react to unusual or unforeseeable situations. We recognized in the regulation that we could not predict every possible allowable activity, and this section therefore ensures that Rapid Response teams are not restricted from carrying out necessary activities when they are most needed.


We should note a few items though:

  • First, although the regulation does provide states and local areas with considerable discretion, to be considered allowable, activities must be designed to prevent or minimize the duration of unemployment, or to develop strategies or activities that will lead to better programmatic outcomes—in other words, they must be intended to meet the purpose of Rapid Response.
  • And second, of course, this flexibility does not extend to activities otherwise prohibited under WIOA or other rules or laws.


(b) When circumstances allow, rapid response may provide guidance and/or financial assistance to establish community transition teams to assist the impacted community in organizing support for dislocated workers and in meeting the basic needs of their families, including heat, shelter, food, clothing and other necessities and services that are beyond the resources and ability of the one-stop delivery system to provide.


This paragraph provides for the creation and operation of community transition teams.  While not always common in practice, community transition teams have shown promise, under certain circumstances, in expanding the ability of the public workforce system to enlist partners, community organizations, and others to provide services and resources in communities or areas in response to major layoffs or other events that have caused significant impact, and that are beyond the capacity of the public workforce system to address alone.  Rapid Response funds may be used to organize or sustain community transition teams that are organized to provide relief to impacted communities.


Do you have examples of innovative activities your Rapid Response team has carried out that you want to share with our community? Add them in Comments below!


Up next: 682.350, provision of additional assistance.