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a. 2. B. Describe how the State intends to use Governor’s set aside funding. Describe how the State will utilize Rapid Response funds to respond to layoffs and plant closings and coordinate services to quickly aid companies and their affected workers. States also should describe any layoff aversion strategies they have implemented to address at risk companies and workers

Current Narrative:

Governor’s Set-Aside Funding
From these state-level funds, the CareerSource Florida Board of Directors allocates certain funds for administrative and program costs of DEO and CareerSource Florida. In accordance with Section 445.003(3)(a)2., Florida Statutes, $2 million in WIOA set-aside funds must be allocated for the Incumbent Worker Training (IWT) program, administered by the CareerSource Florida professional team. From the balance of state-level WIOA funds, the board determines any additional or specific allotments for purposes of state demonstration and pilot projects as well as other workforce development initiatives.

Rapid Response Funding to Respond to Layoffs
DEO Reemployment and Emergency Assistance Coordination Team (REACT), managed by the State Rapid Response Coordinator, serves as Florida’s state-level Dislocated Worker Unit. REACT is responsible for carrying out statewide rapid response activities and overseeing rapid response and layoff aversion activities carried out by the LWDBs.

DEO REACT staff are the initial contact for employers who submit layoff and business closing notices under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act of 1988. REACT staff request information such as the name and telephone number of the employer’s local contact person at each location, the type of business issuing the WARN, the reason for the layoff or business closing and the possible applicability of the Trade Act. REACT staff enter the WARN notice into the REACT database and distribute the WARN and the background information to the affected LWDBs.

An online summary report of WARN information is available from the DEO public website at www.floridajobs.org DEO REACT staff are responsible for updating the list and keeping it current within three business days of receiving a WARN notice. The online WARN Summary Report includes:

  • Company name and address;
  • Total number of affected workers;
  • Affected employer’s industry;
  • WARN notification date;
  • Layoff dates; and
  • Copy of WARN notice.

Each LWDB has a business services unit that includes a Rapid Response Coordinator. Local board staff respond and provide rapid response services to employers submitting WARN notices and Trade Act Petitions. LWDBs have strong relationships with local economic development staff and the companies in their area. These relationships sometimes allow the LWDB to become aware of challenges a company is experiencing and provides an opportunity to offer layoff aversion assistance prior to WARN activity.

Local workforce development board staff are responsible for making initial contact with a company official to obtain information about the layoff. The Rapid Response Coordinator will then help convene partners to meet with the employer and create a plan of services to meet both the employers’ and separating employees’ needs. If workers are still attached to the employer, the Rapid Response Coordinator conducts Rapid Response Information Meetings to the workers providing information on various services offered in the CareerSource Florida One-Stop Career Center and through partner programs. Through discussion with the employer, the LWDB may offer strategies that support layoff aversion or rapid reemployment which include:

  • Shared work/short-time compensation
  • IWT program opportunities
  • Assistance with filing Reemployment Assistance Compensation
  • Assistance with filing Trade petitions, if applicable
  • Information on retraining/upskilling opportunities
  • Job search workshops
  • Financial literacy and planning workshops

When possible, on-site services are offered to employers requesting Rapid Response Assistance. Rapid response visits are usually made to employers laying off 50 or more workers. When a layoff is fewer than 50 workers, affected workers are directed to the nearest career center for re-employment services.