Rapid Response Regulations Series #7: Required Activities (Part 3)
Posted 1/29/2018 7:25 PM by Jeff Ryan
In our last entry we covered 682.330(b)-(e). This post covers 682.330(f)-(k), the remaining paragraphs under 682.330; let’s take a deeper look at each of these.
(f) The provision of emergency assistance adapted to the particular layoff or disaster
This paragraph requires states to customize assistance for each layoff or disaster event to which Rapid Response is deployed. The regulation does not define the term “emergency assistance” as used here; with regard to layoffs, this essentially refers to developing a specific response and delivering necessary solutions on a case-by-case basis.
For disasters, this may be a bit more complicated, since the meaning of “emergency assistance” in this context may be less obvious. States and local areas have used Rapid Response teams and resources for a wide array of activities in response to disaster situations. Such activities have included outreach, support, and assistance for impacted individuals with accessing UI or disaster unemployment assistance; acquisition of and support for mobile one-stop units; demographic information gathering for potential emergency grant applications; and coordination with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or other disaster-response organizations. State and local area rapid response providers must work closely with other State and local agencies and other critical partners through strategic planning processes to ensure effective and immediate responses can be undertaken when the need arises.
(1) Identifying and gathering information for early warning of potential layoffs or opportunities for layoff aversion;
(2) Analyzing, and acting upon, data and information on dislocations and other economic activity in the State, region, or local area; and
(3) Tracking outcome and performance data and information related to the activities of the rapid response program
The Department expects that its programs must be evidence-based, whenever possible, and Rapid Response is no different. Capturing and tracking performance and outcome data and information is critical for continuous improvement, for identifying promising practices, and for reporting, and this tracking is required to be done for Rapid Response activities, as appropriate.
This paragraph highlights the critical importance of operating Rapid Response programs on the basis of good data and information, and capturing outcome data by which to constantly review the success of your activities, as well as to tell the story of what you’ve accomplished. We do not, as you can see, require you to use any specific data or information sources, and this section does not refer to capturing outcome data for purposes of performance reporting to ETA. Rather, we felt that it was vitally important to add this requirement that all Rapid Response programs are based on good data, for everything from early warning information with regard to layoffs or layoff aversion opportunities
This paragraph discusses the requirement that Rapid Response programs collect and utilize data as a core component of their work:
- 682.330(g)(1) requires states and/or local areas to identify sources of information that will provide early warning of potential layoffs, and to gather this data in a manner that best suits their needs
- 682.330(g)(2) requires the processing and analysis of a range of economic data and information to ensure the best possible services are delivered to businesses and workers at the appropriate time
- And 682.330(g)(3) requires that States and/or local areas track data and other information related to the activities and outcomes of the rapid response program, so as to provide an adequate basis for effective program management, review, and evaluation of rapid response and layoff aversion efforts.
The Department does not specify what programmatic data and information states must capture and track; states are best suited to determine what they capture and track.
(h) Developing and maintaining partnerships with other appropriate Federal, State and local agencies and officials, employer associations, technical councils, other industry business councils, labor organizations, and other public and private organizations, as applicable, in order to:
(1) Conduct strategic planning activities to develop strategies for addressing dislocation events and ensuring timely access to a broad range of necessary assistance; and
(2) Develop mechanisms for gathering and exchanging information and data relating to potential dislocations, resources available, and the customization of layoff aversion or rapid response activities, to ensure the ability to provide rapid response services as early as possible
This paragraph highlights the need for partnerships, both at the strategic and operational levels. Rapid Response operators must develop and maintain partnerships with a wide range of partners to ensure the capability to deliver needed solutions and resources to businesses, workers, and communities whenever the need arises. The regulation provides some examples of organizations with which to partner, but states and local areas should establish partnerships with those organizations that are necessary to ensure the successful functioning of their Rapid Response program:
- 682.330(h)(1) discusses the use of these partnerships to conduct strategic planning and to ensure that assistance provided to companies, workers, and communities is comprehensive;
- 682.330(h)(2) requires that the partnerships developed to support rapid response programs actively share information on resources available on a regular basis to ensure that the needs of businesses, workers, and communities will be met at the time they are needed.
(i) Delivery of services to worker groups for which a petition for Trade Adjustment Assistance has been filed
It’s been mentioned before in the regulation, at section 682.302—a TAA petition triggers Rapid Response (at least where Rapid Response has not already been provided). This paragraph is intended to reinforce this requirement, that, as appropriate, Rapid Response services be provided to trade-impacted workers for whom petitions have been filed. Rapid Response teams, of course, may assist in coordinating with state TAA staff, local one-stop staff, employers, workers, or unions in filing a petition for TAA on behalf of a worker group negatively impacted by foreign trade.
The regulatory text is not meant to imply that Rapid Response services may only be provided once the Trade petition has been filed. As for other workers impacted by layoffs, Rapid Response may be provided upon notification of layoffs consistent with state or local procedure and the regulations. A worker may receive Rapid Response services prior to the TAA petition filing and re-delivery of rapid response services may or may not be appropriate, depending on the individual circumstances or timing of the events. Additionally, the content of information provided to the worker group through Rapid Response may change due to the circumstances or timing of the event, or additional information, such as a TAA Orientation, may occur after petition certification.
(j) The provision of additional assistance, as described in § 682.350, to local areas that experience disasters, mass layoffs, or other dislocation events when such events exceed the capacity of the local area to respond with existing resources as provided under WIOA sec. 134(a)(2)(A)(i)(II)
This paragraph requires states to provide additional assistance to local areas that experience an event that causes significant layoffs that exceed the capacity of the local area to respond to with existing formula resources. This requirement was found in the WIA regulation at § 665.300(b); we made a slight wording changes for WIOA, but it remains essentially the same as under WIA. The additional assistance is required by WIOA sec. 134(a)(2)(A)(II). The regulation doesn’t specify, but additional assistance to local areas would be required when statewide Rapid Response funds remain available for obligation.
A final note on this paragraph: § 682.330(j) establishes the requirement that such assistance be provided; § 682.350 defines and describes what additional assistance entails, and we’ll cover that in a future post.
(k) Provision of guidance and financial assistance as appropriate, in establishing a labor-management committee if voluntarily agreed to by the employee’s bargaining representative and management. The committee may devise and oversee an implementation strategy that responds to the reemployment needs of the workers. The assistance to this committee may include:
(1) The provision of training and technical assistance to members of the committee; and
(2) Funding the operating costs of a committee to enable it to provide advice and assistance in carrying out rapid response activities and in the design and delivery of WIOA-authorized services to affected workers
Establishment of and support for labor management committees was required under WIA. However, in some circumstances these committees have proven ineffective, and therefore the WIOA regulation does not include establishment of labor management committees as a required Rapid Response activity. However, where labor and management desire to establish such a committee, guidance and financial support must be provided by Rapid Response.
This support is required by WIOA sec. 3(51), as it was under WIA sec. 101(38), where labor and management voluntarily agree that the establishment of such a committee is appropriate.
An additional change from WIA is that the WIOA regulation eliminates the requirement that a neutral chairperson be appointed. Based on feedback received regarding the difficulties involved in obtaining a neutral chairperson who is familiar with the immediate problem, the leadership of a labor-management committee is better left to the discretion of the parties involved.
A final change that you may have noticed—under the WIA regulation, we referred to “workforce transition committees”—the Department now refers to these as groups as “community transition teams.” We’ll cover their role in more detail in the next entry when we discuss § 682.340.
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Next up: § 682.340!