Now that we have addressed what Rapid Response is and when it must be delivered, let us take a brief look at a related question—who has the responsibility for carrying out these activities?

As always, we will start by looking at the language in the WIOA Regulations, at §682.310:


(a) Rapid response activities must be carried out by the State or an entity designated by the State, in conjunction with the Local WDBs, chief elected officials, and other stakeholders, as provided by WIOA secs. 133(a)(2) and 134(a)(2)(A).


(b) States must establish and maintain a rapid response unit to carry out statewide rapid response activities and to oversee rapid response activities undertaken by a designated State entity, Local WDB, or the chief elected officials for affected local areas, as provided under WIOA sec. 134(a)(2)(A)(i)(I).


This section of the regulation is pretty straightforward, but let’s break it down anyway.



First, Rapid Response is the responsibility of the state. While the regulations permit the state to designate one or more other entities to carry out Rapid Response activities in whole or in part, the state remains responsible for ensuring that these activities are carried out and that the requirements of the regulations are met. The regulations do not address what types of entities a state may designate, but states would be smart to design approaches to designating entities to carry out Rapid Response activities ensure that such entities are capable of carrying out the activities for which they have been designated.


Regardless of which entities actually carry out Rapid Response activities in a given state, WIOA requires that Rapid Response activities must be carried out in conjunction with local boards, local elected officials, and other relevant stakeholders, to ensure that businesses and workers receive the highest quality outcomes, and to ensure coordination between and among entities working to support these businesses and workers. Even if this requirement did not exist in the regulation, smart Rapid Response units would create the networks and partnerships with these stakeholders necessary to ensure maximum effectiveness.


And second, all states, even those who have pushed the Rapid Response function down to the local level, must “establish and maintain” a state-level unit to carry out, oversee, and otherwise monitor the effectiveness of the Rapid Response program within that state. Under WIA, there was a requirement for a state to have a dislocated worker unit; WIOA further requires that this unit be a Rapid Response unit specifically.


What are your thoughts on this requirement? Share in the Comments!