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a. 2. D. Describe how the State provides early intervention (e.g., Rapid Response) to worker groups on whose behalf a Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) petition has been filed. (Section 134(a)(2)(A).) This description must include how the State disseminates benefit information to provide trade-affected workers in the groups identified in the TAA petitions with an accurate understanding of the provision of TAA benefits and services in such a way that they are transparent to the trade-affected dislocated worker applying for them (Trade Act Sec. 221(a)(2)(A) and Sec. 225; Governor-Secretary Agreement). Describe how the State will use funds that have been reserved for Rapid Response to provide services for every worker group that files a TAA petition.

Current Narrative:

WIOA Dislocated Worker and Trade Adjustment programs are both administered through the One-Stop centers. Since the inception of WIA and continued on with WIOA, any means of cost sharing has been emphasized to increase the impact of limited funds. In Idaho, the state-level Rapid Response team includes staff from the dislocated worker, UI and TAA units. When notified of any closure or mass layoff, including those notifications received via Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN), the team quickly broadens to include local delivery staff with expertise in provision of Rapid Response, Title I-B Dislocated Worker, UI, TAA and Wagner-Peyser services. This state-local team communicates with the employer and employee representatives, determines if Trade related, assesses initial community impact, identifies and includes other partners for rapid response assistance and develops integrated service delivery schedules to meet the needs of each individual employer and the impacted workers. Informational packets, which may include a survey to determine workers’ interests and to use towards the development of a National Dislocated Worker Grant, are distributed to the impacted workers at the Rapid Response event. Team members work closely with service provider management staff to develop a service delivery plan that coordinates resources and ensures One-Stop access to information and enrollment in UI, TAA, WIOA and Wagner-Peyser, many times at the job site prior to dislocation and the filing of a Trade petition. Idaho’s Rapid Response delivery system provides the impacted worker with coordinated application and enrollment for WIOA, TAA and Wagner-Peyser services. Career assessments conducted by WIOA staff are accepted for the TAA program, eliminating client redundancies and streamlining co-enrollment processes. Rapid Response service delivery planning helps to ensure the majority of TAA recipients in Idaho are likely to be served with WIOA funds. Like the federal program, the state requires co-enrollment of TAA recipients whenever the individual is WIOA-eligible and receives WIOA staff or other supportive services.

One-Stop TAA staff in Idaho have the background and experience to provide a comprehensive One-Stop assessment through their work with WIOA, ES, UI and TAA programs. Through the collection and analysis of participant information, staff can determine the best mix of services necessary for a TAA participant to obtain employment. Information areas may include an applicant’s needs, strengths, support systems, education, job skills, interests and career objectives and current work search activities. Information may be gathered informally, via interviews or observations, or formally via assessment tools such as aptitude tests, computer assisted programs and interest inventories. Utilizing this information, these state-merit staff have the tools to guide participants in their work search and career development plans, which includes the option for occupational training through fulfillment of the required six criteria as allowed under TAA. Completing assessment activities for TAA participants eventually helps them “navigate” access to the appropriate One-Stop programs and services, as well as other community services.