Dislocated Worker Program – Rapid Response Team

Special Bulletin: COVID-19 Informational Resources can be found HERE. 

Established by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), the Dislocated Worker – Rapid Response Program, encompasses strategies and activities for partner entities to respond as quickly as possible following an announcement of permanent closure, mass layoff, or natural or other disasters that result in a mass job loss.

For over 20 years, the Missouri AFL-CIO has been a state partner to connect dislocated workers to the resources and assistance they need to re-enter the job market quickly following a closure or layoff. 

As part of these efforts, our team offers two programs, Surviving Layoff Workshops (Employment Transition Team Services) and Peer Counseling (Transition Team Training).   

The Missouri AFL-CIO Dislocated Worker Program provides supportive services to workers who are experiencing layoffs. Dislocated workers are workers who lose their job through no fault of their own and will be provided services free of charge through the state of Missouri’s network of job centers.

Surviving Layoff Workshops - Employment Transition Team Services

During the workshop, staff is joined by partners from state and federal agencies to provide an overview of the services and resources available to dislocated workers.   

Workshop leaders direct workers on the following topics: applying for unemployment, navigating health insurance options, accessing Trade Act Program benefits, and making smart financial decisions following a job loss.  

  • Applying for unemployment

  • Navigating health insurance options

  • Accessing Trade Act Program benefits

  • Making smart financial decisions following a job loss

Missouri AFL-CIO program coordinators present information on the following topics:

  • Taking charge of personal finances by creating a financial action plan

  • Looking for a new job and establishing a job search action plan

  • Managing stress by understanding it is okay to discuss the situation with family and access state resources as needed

  • Contacting your union and the AFL-CIO community to learn about helpful resources that may be available

  • Visiting Missouri Job Centers for full-service job search assistance

Peer Counseling – Transition Team Training

Transition team training is an extensive 1 to 2-day training provided to a small group of designated employees who will then serve as peer counselors for the rest of the workforce. Ideally, the transition team training consists of a small number of employees approved by both the union and the company. The workers are trained by program coordinators to serve as a resource for the other soon-to-be dislocated workers.

During the one or two-day training session, program coordinators provide information about the resources available to dislocated workers. Transition team members develop the skills necessary so they are able to refer the dislocated worker to a specific contact person when questions and or problems arise. Once the team is trained, they serve as a readily accessible resource to fellow co-workers impacted by the upcoming layoff. The transition team remains in place throughout the layoff process. Peer counseling works because it is built on already established trust that comes from sharing a common work reality.

These programs are designed to reduce stress in the workplace, help employees cope with the loss of a job, and decrease the duration of unemployment. We will provide the mental and emotional support needed for workers to manage the challenges of a job loss.

For more information, please contact:

Jim Kolve

Missouri AFL-CIO

Dislocated Worker Program Coordinator

Cell: 314-540-0848 

Email: [email protected]

ADDITIONAL HELPFUL RESOURCES