WIOAPL 15-15.1 (Rapid Response Program Requirements -- Employer Mass Layoff, Employer Closure, and Trade Adjustment Assistance Events)
Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Policy Letter No. 15-15.1
January 23, 2017
TO: Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Local Workforce Development Boards (WDB), Fiscal Agents, ODJFS Program Delivery Managers, and OhioMeansJobs Center Operators
FROM: Cynthia C. Dungey, Director
SUBJECT: Rapid Response Program Requirements -- Employer Mass Layoff, Employer Closure, and Trade Adjustment Assistance Events

I.Purpose

Ohio is committed to providing workforce solutions throughout the business cycle to all of its customers and can do so when delivery of rapid response (RR) is intended to avert or mitigate employer layoffs and closure events. The purpose of this policy is to outline the requirements for delivery of RR program services during an employer mass layoff, closure, and/or filing of a Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) petition event.

II.Effective Date

February 1, 2017

III.Background

Pursuant to section 134 (c)(1) of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), funds allocated to the local workforce development area for dislocated workers shall be used to establish a workforce delivery system, to provide career services to dislocated workers, to provide training services to dislocated workers, to establish and develop relationships with large and small employers, and to develop, convene, or implement industry and sector partnerships. The local workforce development boards (WDBs) determine the most appropriate mix of these services, and both career and training services must be available to eligible dislocated workers. It is expected that local dislocated worker funds will be utilized to support the provision of services to individuals who have been terminated or laid off, or received a notice of termination or layoff from employment.

Rapid response (RR) is a series of activities provided by the State, to assist dislocated workers in obtaining reemployment as soon as possible, when one or more of the following circumstances occur:

1.Announcement or notification of a permanent closure, regardless of the number of workers affected;

2.Announcement or notification of a mass layoff;

3.A mass job dislocation resulting from a natural or other disaster; or

4.The filing of a TAA petition.

RR may also be provided if multiple employers experience downsizing causing a significant impact on the community.

The objective of Ohio's RR delivery system is to strengthen accountability, partnership, communication, professional development, and timely access to needed services for employers and impacted workers. Rapid reemployment is the central purpose of RR and is done by helping workers impacted by an employer mass layoff and/or closure event quickly transition to new employment, minimizing the duration of unemployment, or averting layoff when possible.

Under section 134(a)(2)(A)(i) of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), each state is responsible for providing RR activities. Ohio will utilize a combination of state/local teams, as well as eligible service providers to be most effective in serving at-risk workers and employers.

Building and maintaining relationships with current and new employers can further local team effectiveness by understanding current and future workforce needs of local businesses and industry. With this knowledge, teams can strategically avert layoffs or minimize their impact, reduce the duration of unemployment, and positively affect the local economy. Ohio's RR program can, and should, bring together government, education and training resources to not only meet the needs of the business community, but to further it throughout all phases of the business cycle.

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS), Office of Workforce Development (OWD) is the agency responsible for the administration of WIOA and RR programs. The OWD RR Unit will oversee Ohio's RR program to ensure compliance with federal and state requirements. Detailed operation descriptions and procedural guidelines are found in the Ohio Rapid Response Operations Guidance. This manual is updated as needed to reflect any necessary changes in the implementation of the program. Copies are available online at http://www.ohiored.gov/misc/forms.stm.

IV.Definitions

Chief elected official(s): The chief elected executive officer(s) of a unit of general local government in a local workforce development area and, in a case in which a local workforce development area includes more than one unit of general local government, the individual(s) designated under the agreement that specifies the respective roles of the individual chief elected officials.

Employer: An individual, business, company, firm, agency, organization, etc. that employs one or more people.

Event: Any situation in which workers are at risk of layoff from a downsizing or closure of an employer's Ohio business, facility, or agency.

Fiscal agent: The entity designated by the chief elected official(s) to perform accounting and funds management on behalf of the chief elected official(s). The fiscal agent coordinates with the local workforce development board regarding funding for the planned array of dislocated worker and rapid response services and ensures fiscal integrity and accountability for expenditure of these funds.

Layoff: A separation due to the lack of work or other factor(s) not related to the behavior or performance of the employee.

Local area rapid response coordinator (LC): An individual representing the local WDB, workforce development area, and OhioMeansJobs centers on the RR team.

Mass layoff: Any reduction in force that is not the result of a total plant/branch/office closing, but still results in the filing of a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act notice, regardless of the number of workers affected by the layoff announced; or, if no WARN correspondence is issued, employment loss at a single site of employment for:

1.At least 25 percent of employees; or

2.At least 50 employees.

Notification: The process by which an individual on the RR team is made aware of a possible layoff or employer closing. A notification can come from a variety of sources, including, but not limited to: a WARN letter, word of mouth, the media, local Chamber of Commerce, ODJFS Trade Unit, OhioMeansJobs Center, union officials, local government, etc.

ODJFS rapid response point of contact: The ODJFS workforce specialist who is stationed in an OhioMeansJobs center within the local workforce development area identified to maintain communication with the employer.

ODJFS rapid response coordinator (RRC): An ODJFS supervisory staff member assigned to a specific local workforce development area or planning region of Ohio and leading the activities of the local RR team.

OhioMeansJobs center operator: The entity which oversees and coordinates services amongst partners in the OhioMeansJobs center.

OhioMeansJobs.com: The statewide electronic system for labor exchange and job placement activity operated by the state.

Ohio Rapid Event Data (OhioRED): An information tracking system that records all employer event information and data on the delivery of RR services.

Ohio Rapid Response Workforce Survey (RRWS): The standardized survey, referred to as the Common Worker Survey, used in Ohio to identify demographics of the affected workforce and serve as a preliminary needs assessment.

Ohio Workforce Case Management System (OWCMS): A system used by workforce professionals to gather and report program data and information for the following programs: WIOA, Wagner-Peyser, Veteran, Apprenticeship, Migrant and Seasonal Farmworker, Foreign Labor Certification, and Trade.

Permanent closure: The permanent shutdown of an Ohio business, facility or agency.

Planning region: Two or more local workforce development areas assigned by the State to align workforce development activities and resources with larger regional economic development areas and available resources to provide coordinated and efficient services to both job seekers and employers.

Potentially affected workers (PAWs): Employees at risk of becoming unemployed due to an event.

Rapid response (RR) team: Individuals from state and local workforce entities that respond collectively to layoffs and closures that occur within their local area or planning region and assist in providing RR services to employers and affected workers.

Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA): A program which provides assistance, including reemployment and training services, to workers whose jobs have been threatened or lost due to foreign imports, or shifts in production and/or services to a country outside the United States.

Worker Adjustment Retraining Notification (WARN) Act: The Act that protects workers, their families, and communities by requiring most employers with 100 or more employees to provide notification 60 calendar days in advance of plant closings and mass layoffs. General provisions of WARN covers employers with 100 or more employees, not counting those who have worked less than 6 months in the last 12 months and those who work an average of less than 20 hours a week; or at least 50 employees at a single site of employment. Additional material for compliance and assistance can be found at http://www.doleta.gov/layoff/warn.cfm .

Workforce development board (WDB) director: The individual hired or designated by the local workforce development board to assist in completion of duties for the local board, including oversight of workforce development employment and training programs and development of the budget for the workforce development area.

V.Rapid Response Employer Event Determination

The classification of an event is without regard to the industry, size of the employer, the number of individuals potentially impacted, or the time between notification and layoff date. Pursuant to section 134(a)(2)(A)(II) of WIOA, RR activities provide additional assistance to local workforce development areas that experience disasters, mass layoffs, filing of TAA petitions, or employer closures, or other events that precipitate substantial increases in the number of unemployed individuals. RR processes and activities should be provided to all employers who experience a mass layoff regardless of how the RR team was notified.

There are two types of events:

1.WARN Event - Any employer that provides written notice of a layoff or closure with intent to meet the federal WARN requirements.

2.Non-WARN Event - Any employer that provides any form of notice of a layoff that does not meet the federal WARN requirements.

The local workforce development area will serve all other layoffs through local dislocated worker funds.

VI.Requirements

A.The Rapid Response Team

Responsibility of the Rapid Response Team

For employer closure, mass layoff, and TAA events that have occurred within the previous 6 months, the RR team will work collaboratively to:

1.Develop a process to address calls from employers and PAWs requesting information regarding federal and state programs and their requirements (e.g., WARN, Short-term Compensation, Unemployment Compensation, or TAA);

2.Identify the range of skills and abilities of the affected workforce and compare with local workforce needs to match the impacted workers with job vacancies for rapid reemployment;

3.Develop a service delivery plan that identifies the strategies to engage local employers in rapid reemployment activities and identifies the outreach strategies that highlight the skills of the PAWs. The plan must utilize resources, such as on-the-job training (OJT) and/or customized training, which will most effectively serve both the PAWs and the targeted employer's needs;

4.Examine the potential impact of layoffs on the affected company's upstream and downstream customers and suppliers to determine an appropriate course of action to connect impacted companies to RR early intervention services; and

5.Ensure PAWs register in OhioMeansJobs.com to increase reemployment opportunities.

Identification of the Rapid Response Team

Each workforce development area must have a state/local area RR team made up of the following partners and fulfilling the following roles when responding to an employer closure or layoff event:

1.ODJFS Rapid Response point of contact: It is important that employers experiencing a layoff or closure event have one individual with whom to communicate. The RR point of contact will:

a.Make the initial contact and serve as the main communicator with the employer throughout RR activities.

b.Disseminate information regarding the layoff or employer closing to the RR team; and

c.Coordinate with the RRC.

2.RRC: The RRC will:

a.Lead team members to effective delivery of the RR program and other services to employers and impacted workers;

b.Direct team members in the development of the team protocol;

c.Assist in coordination of resources within the defined region, which includes coordination with other workforce areas and/or planning region(s) as necessary to ensure timely, effective, and consistent delivery of RR services;

d.Collaborate with other RRCs and other local RR teams for events and initiatives that are regional or statewide;

e.Collaborate with LC on the development of the reemployment strategy and service delivery plan; and

f.Instruct the team on the best course of action when other employers are at risk of downsizing or closing due to an event.

3.ODJFS Program Delivery Manager: The ODJFS Program Delivery Manager will coordinate RR events that cover more than one local workforce development area or planning region, including coordinating discussion between all local WDB directors of the affected local workforce development areas.

4.LC: The LC will coordinate and facilitate the following activities:

a.Collaborate among partners;

b.Determine the reemployment strategy that best fits the situation;

c.Develop a customized RR service delivery plan for every employer event;

d.Determine the need for Rapid Response Emergency Assistance Funds (RREAF) and collaborate with RRC in completing the application;

e.Guide the team through the funding application process, including applying for funds and submitting the form to the RRC for review;

f.Submit the application to the WDB director and/or staff; and

g.Assist in the implementation of the RR service delivery plan.

5.WDB Director: The WDB Director approves and submits the RREAF providing assurances that the local workforce development area:

a.Has met all minimum dislocated worker expenditure and obligation requirements;

b.Will provide timely and accurate financial reports to ODJFS; and

c.Will associate all participants to an OhioRED rapid response identification (RRID) number and will capture all services funded through RR in OWCMS.

In addition to the RR team members listed above, it is recommended that local RR teams also include the following members so that the team has quality representation in the delivery of RR services:

1.OhioMeansJobs center operator;

2.Local workforce development area fiscal agent;

3.Economic development agency;

4.Representative for TAA; and

5.Representative for Unemployment Compensation.

B.Rapid Response Team Protocol

The RR team, with the direction of the RRC, shall develop a protocol to ensure the team works together so services are provided to employers and affected workers in a timely, efficient and high quality manner. Establishing a protocol among all members results in a more effective local team response to layoffs and closures, impacts the service delivery outcome, and creates an environment for proactive RR.

Team Protocol

The RACI (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed) is a responsibility assignment matrix which clearly describes the role(s) of each team member in the completion of RR tasks and activities. The RACI provides a clear depiction of each RR activity and associated tasks and the role each team member has to deliver workforce solutions effectively and efficiently to RR customers. The protocol should take into consideration the role of the TAA representative as it pertains to administration of RR activities when a TAA petition has been filed.

The RACI tool, when applied to the RR process, looks at each role and function of RR and helps local teams determine who is:

1.Responsible - the individual who actually does the job;

2.Accountable - the individual(s) who is/are ultimately accountable for the action, task, or function;

3.Consulted - the individual(s) who need(s) to be consulted prior to a final decision or action being taken; and

4.Informed - the individual(s) who need(s) to be informed after a final decision or action is taken.

The RR processes, which will be outlined using the RACI tool, include, but are not limited to, the following activities:

1.Notification.

2.Research early intervention services.

3.Initial contact - A standard rapid response initial contact checklist, developed by the ODJFS shall be used when gathering information from the employer.

4.RRWS - The RRWS provides local teams with demographics and characteristics of a workforce that is potentially affected by layoff or closure, and captures desired worker services and shall be used in the strategy for service delivery.

5.Strategy meeting - Development of a reemployment strategy, driven by talent needs of local workforce development area and regional employers for the affected workforce, to present at the initial employer meeting. State resources shall be used before outsourcing services that are being paid for through emergency RR funds.

6.Funding for layoff and closure events - To ensure greatest benefit of funds, RRCs should work with the local area fiscal agent and local workforce development board to mutually agree on funding amounts to support the plan for services.

7.Initial employer meeting - Establishment of rapport, collection of needed information, and development of a proposed plan of service.

8.Plan for services - A plan, approved by the employer, which details all RR services that will be provided to an affected workforce and a timeline of when the services will be delivered.

9.Rapid response worker orientation - Using standard, core presentation developed by ODJFS, the RR orientation session is the first opportunity to sell the affected workers on the benefits, services, and resources available to rapidly transition them before layoff date or/and during their layoff to new employment.

10.Additional rapid response services, including identification of the team member responsible for entering information in OhioRED and the Ohio Workforce Case Management System (OWCMS).

11.Transition to WIOA adult and dislocated worker employment and training services and/or TAA training services.

12.Post rapid response follow-up.

Local teams must use the RACI or another tool which delineates RR functions for each RR process or activity and the responsibility and accountability for completion of such functions to establish an RR team protocol. The protocol should be developed to ensure communication amongst the team members and to maintain the flexibility to customize for the needs of individual employers and employees impacted by an event.

If the RACI is not utilized, the tool must establish the primary and secondary RR team members, define the member roles for each process step, and describe the level of team member engagement by process function. The protocol defines who is responsible, accountable, consulted, and informed for every RR action step.

Collaboration and coordination by all RR team members is crucial to success of this program.

The operations guidance for local RR teams is found within the Ohio Rapid Response Operations Guidance available online at http://www.ohiored.gov/misc/forms.stm. The operations guidance should be used as a quick reference guide that also incorporates a recommendation for team member and partners roles for various process steps and functions of service delivery.

Current RR team protocols established by the local workforce development area must be reviewed based upon new roles of RR team members and the RACI tool (or similar tool, as appropriate) and appropriate modifications to the protocol must be made. Current RR teams may continue established protocols until such time the new or modified protocol has been created.

The ODJFS Program Delivery Manager will submit the RR team protocol for the local workforce development area to the OWD Rapid Response Unit at RAPDRESP@jfs.ohio.gov with the subject line of Rapid Response Team Protocol by June 30, 2017.

RR and Planning Regions

WIOA envisions a workforce development system that is customer-focused on both the job seeker and business, and is able to anticipate and respond to the needs of regional economies. It requires local WDBs and chief elected officials to design and govern the system regionally, aligning workforce policies and services with regional economies and supporting service delivery strategies tailored to these needs. As businesses pull resources and employees from various workforce development areas, it is important that planning regions address RR processes on a regional basis, ensuring that policies and procedures pertaining to the delivery of RR services are aligned to minimize confusion for the business community.

Use of the RRWS

Local RR teams must utilize the RRWS to identify demographics of an impacted workforce for a preliminary needs assessment that will be used by the RR team to develop a service delivery plan as described in Section VI. A. The RRWS is completed on the JFS 08124, Ohio Rapid Response Event Data.

All RR team members, service providers, and any contractors that receive or access personally identifiable information (PII) on impacted workers must safeguard the information from disclosure in accordance with federal and state confidentiality laws, rules, and policies. However, de-identified data can be disclosed in aggregate to provide insight on workforce trends and labor availability.

C.Provision of Required Rapid Response Activities for Employer Mass Layoff, Closure, and TAA Events

As part of the local area RR service delivery system and pursuant to 20 C.F.R. 682.330, the State, working in conjunction with the local WDBs and OhioMeansJobs Centers, must have the following array of services available, as needed, for local employers and impacted workers:

1.Layoff aversion, including the creation of early warning networks in each local workforce development area which provides early intervention services for employers and employees;

2.Immediate and on-site contact with the employer, representatives of the affected workers, and the local community, including an assessment of and plans to address the:

a.Layoff plans and schedule of the employer;

b.Background and probable assistance needs of the affected workers;

c.Reemployment prospects for workers; and

d.Available resources to meet the short and long-term assistance needs of the affected workers;

3.The provision of information about and access to unemployment compensation benefits and programs, such as short-time compensation (e.g., SharedWork Ohio), comprehensive OhioMeansJobs Center services, and employment and training activities, including information on the TAA program, Pell Grants, the GI Bill, and other resources;

4.The delivery of other available services and resources including workshops and classes, use of worker transition centers (which must complement, not replace, the OhioMeansJobs center), and job fairs, to support reemployment efforts of affected workers;

5.Partnership with the local WDBs and chief elected official(s) to ensure a coordinated response to the dislocation event and, as needed, obtain access to State and local economic development assistance. Such coordinated response may include the development of an application for a national dislocated worker grant;

6.The provision of emergency assistance adapted to the particular layoff;

7.As appropriate, develop systems and processes for:

a.Identifying and gathering information for early warning of potential layoffs or opportunities for layoff aversion;

b.Analyzing, and acting upon, data and information on dislocations and other economic activity in the State, region, or local area; and

c.Tracking outcome and performance data and information related to the activities of the RR program;

8.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:

a.Conduct strategic planning activities to develop strategies for addressing dislocation events and ensure timely access to a broad range of necessary assistance;

b.Develop mechanisms for gathering and exchanging information and data relating to potential dislocations, resources available, and customization of layoff aversion or RR activities, to ensure the ability to provide RR services as early as possible;

9.Delivery of services to worker groups for which a petition for TAA has been filed;

10.The provision of additional assistance to local areas that experience disasters, mass layoffs, and other dislocation events when such events exceed the capacity of the local area to respond with existing resources; and

11.Provision of guidance and financial assistance, as appropriate, in establishing a labor-management committee, if voluntarily agreed to by the employee's bargaining representatives 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:

a.The provision of training and technical assistance to members of the committee; and

b.Funding the operating costs of a committee to enable it to provide advice and assistance in carrying out RR activities and in the design and delivery of WIOA-authorized services to affected workers.

The above list represents the minimum services that must be readily available and should be offered with the end goal of rapid reemployment. Pursuant to 20 C.F.R. 682.340, a state or designated entity may devise RR strategies or conduct activities that are intended to minimize the negative impacts of dislocation on workers, businesses, and communities, to ensure rapid reemployment for workers affected by layoffs and closures. When circumstances allow, RR may provide guidance and/or financial assistance to establish community transition teams to assist the impacted community in organizing support for dislocated workers and meeting the basic needs of their families, including heat, shelter, food, clothing, and other necessities and services that are beyond the resources and ability of the OhioMeansJobs Centers to provide.

Activities for Unemployment Compensation Claimants

Additionally, to assist workers impacted by employer layoff and closure events, House Bill 2 (130th General Assembly) made changes to Ohio Revised Code section 4141.29 of Ohio's Unemployment Compensation law by requiring claimants to connect with job opportunities and to participate in reemployment activities through the OhioMeansJobs.com system and/or OhioMeansJobs Centers. The JFS 55213, Worker's Guide to Unemployment Compensation, provides additional guidance on required reemployment activities and may be found at http://www.odjfs.state.oh.us/forms/file.asp?id=2187&type=application/pdf.

Transitioning from Rapid Response Services to the Local Area WIOA Adult and Dislocated Worker Programs

Local procedures should be in place to identify the workers served under the RR program and RR services received. All RR services that individuals receive prior to determination of WIOA eligibility must be considered when developing service delivery strategies for workers that receive additional services under WIOA. Such consideration will help prevent duplication of services and ensure that workers can quickly access needed services.

Transitioning from Rapid Response Services to TAA Program

Procedures must be in place to identify the workers served under the RR program and RR services received. If individuals who are potentially Trade eligible also received WIOA services prior to Trade certification, these services must also be identified. All RR and, possibly, WIOA services that individuals received must be considered when developing service strategies for workers that receive additional services under TAA. Such consideration will help prevent duplication of services, will ease transition of services, and will ensure that workers can quickly access needed services.

D.Reporting Requirements

Ready access to accurate, up-to-date information for Ohio's employer closure and substantial layoff events is critical to many stakeholders within the state and local workforce development systems. This data is also a key factor in assessing the need for financial assistance at the state and federal levels.

There are two levels of reporting for employer closure and substantial layoff events:

1.Employer/event data tracking in OhioRED; and

2.Worker data in Ohio Workforce Case Management System.

OhioRED

ODJFS has implemented an RR information tracking system, OhioRED. This system records all of the significant information and data from each event beginning with notification and initial contact with the employer, through the transition of affected workers to the OhioMeansJobs Centers and the local workforce development system.

Based upon the RACI, the team member responsible for entering information into OhioRED must record WARN and Non-WARN events and any subsequent updates in OhioRED on a timely basis and in accordance with the Ohio Rapid Response Operations Guidance. At a minimum, a local RR team member must enter the following information into OhioRED prior to approval and receipt of RR funds:

1.On the company contact tab:

a.Company name;

b.Company street address, including city, state, and zip code;

c.Company contact name;

d.Name of team leader (e.g., rapid response coordinator);

e.Notification source;

f.Whether or not the event was triggered by a WARN letter;

g.Whether or not the trade petition has been filed;

h.Date of the event notification;

i.WARN number, if applicable; and

j.Whether or not the facility has been trade certified.

2.On the layoff information tab (if information is undetermined, "unknown" must be selected):

a.Number of impacted workers, if known;

b.Layoff date range, if known;

c.Type of work performed at affected site, if known;

d.Specific reasons for layoff or closing, if known;

e.Timetable for expected layoffs, if known;

f.Type of work remaining at affected location, if known;

g.Determination if there are any activities already in place, if known; and

h.Determination if this is a union facility.

3.On the business and initial planning tab;

a.Determination if layoff aversion is possible;

b.Whether there are any assets for sale (plant, equipment, etc.); and

c.Whether there are pending buy-outs or rescue plans.

Ohio Workforce Case Management System (OWCMS)

Based upon the RACI, the team member responsible for entering information into OWCMS must record all individual workers who attend a worker orientation session by direct entry or another system. Data for the OWCMS can be acquired, among other methods, by using the state's RRWS. The RRID number assigned at the point of data entry into OhioRED will be entered into OWCMS to track individual workers accessing services from each event. Although data elements are minimal for workers at this level of service, it is the beginning of a log of services that can then be used to ensure a smooth transition to WIOA program enrollment, should additional services be needed.

Depending on the RR funded activities associated with the substantial layoff or employer closure, the team member may be required to enter participant information into OWCMS under Special Grants. By reporting information into OWCMS, the local workforce development area may report outcomes.

E.Funding for Rapid Response Employer Layoff and Closure Events

Rapid response emergency assistance funds (RREAF) are available to local workforce development areas allowing flexibility in serving PAWs and employers who have been affected by an event within the last six months. The RR team must have conversations with the affected business and survey employees to determine which RR services must be provided.

RREAF is to be used to ensure the effective delivery of RR services and an efficient transition to any additional services needed for reemployment (e.g., referrals to WIOA formula-funded programs, Adult Basic and Literacy Education (ABLE) services, financial services, etc.). Upon receipt of RR funds for approved dislocation events, local WDBs must ensure that PAWs are not turned away from services based upon residency.

RREAF is intended to supplement the local Dislocated Worker formula-funded program, not to supplant these funds; RREAF must not replace dislocated worker formula funds when providing RR services. RREAF is available when the current dislocated worker funds are not sufficient to provide the necessary services during an RR event. RREAF is based on the need for additional financial resources to serve PAWs and employers during a mass layoff when there is a shortage of a local workforce development area's dislocated worker formula funds.

The process for requesting RREAF, as described below, allows for a quicker release of funds. However, the local workforce development area should be continuously assessing and creating a strategic plan for the use of dislocated worker formula funds. This is especially important as the request for RREAF may be made on behalf of a county or counties within a local area using the review of the individual county's expenditures to assist in the approval process of the RREAF. The local workforce development area must be aware that there is a potential adverse impact on making application for a National Dislocated Worker Grant if the local area's expenditure rate, as a whole, is significantly different (e.g., local area has a lower expenditure rate) than the individual county's expenditure rate.

Initial Request for RREAF

The WDB director, or designee, on behalf of a county or counties within their local workforce development area may request up to $10,000 to commence transition services by sending an e-mail to RAPDRESP@jfs.ohio.gov. These transition services may include, but are not limited to, the following:

1.Transition centers;

2.Initial meetings/worker orientations;

3.Labor management committees; or

4.Costs to survey workers.

These funds should provide the RR team with emergency resources to immediately respond and begin generalized services and information gathering.

Application for RREAF

If the local RR team determines that RR funds are needed for a dislocation event, the local WDBs must apply using the JFS 18126, Application for Rapid Response Emergency Assistance Funds-Layoff or Closure Event Service Plan.

The application submitted by the local workforce development area for RREAF should only be completed once a survey of affected workers is completed, a strategy meeting has been conducted, and a plan for service has been developed, discussed, and approved.

If an RR event involves a planning region, an application for RREAF may be submitted on behalf of the affected planning region. RREAF will be available to all local workforce development areas in the planning region to assist in the delivery of RR services. The RREAF application will be approved and submitted by the WDB director of the local workforce development area in which the employer is headquartered.

The local workforce development area's WDB director, or designee, on behalf of the local area or counties within an area, may apply for up to $4,200 per PAW registered in OWCMS. For example, company ABC issues a WARN impacting 100 PAWs; 40 PAWs complete surveys and are entered into OWCMS, the local workforce development area may request a maximum of $168,000.00 (40 X $4,200) to implement the plan of services as described in the application, with no more than 25% (or $42,000) budgeted for career services.

In addition to funds for implementing the plan of services to the PAWs, the application may also include the maintenance of a transition center, including the staff for the center, if established in the initial request for RREAF. If the application includes maintenance of a transition center, the application must include a description of how Wagner-Peyser program staff were considered and utilized within the plan for staffing and maintaining the transition center prior to submission of the request for RREAF.

The JFS 18126 must be e-mailed to the OWD Rapid Response Unit: RAPDRESP@jfs.ohio.gov.

Review and Approval of RREAF

Since RREAF is based on need and should not replace dislocated worker formula funds, the OWD RR Unit will review the following, in addition to the RREAF application to assist in making a funding determination:

1.The local workforce development area's habits of transferring dislocated worker formula funds, including how the local area has strategized to respond to unforeseen events when they transferred funds.

2.The county's spending levels of adult and dislocated worker formula funds. Spending rates will be reviewed to determine a financial need for RREAF. ODJFS requires the county to have spent 70 percent of carry-in funds and to be on track to spend at least 70 percent of first year funds by the end of the current fiscal year. The target spending total is based upon the quarter in which the RREAF is requested and is computed using the following formulas:

Quarter 1 Target Spending Total for August - October applications:

[Prior Year Adult/DW Allocations] X [70%]

Quarter 2 Target Spending Total for November - January applications:

[Prior Year Adult/DW Allocations] X [70%] +

[Current Year PY Adult/DW Allocations] X [17.5%]

Quarter 3 Target Spending Total for February - April applications:

[Prior Year Adult/DW Allocations] X [70%] +

[Current Year Adult/DW Allocations] X [35%]

Quarter 4 Target Spending Total for May - July applications:

[Prior Year Adult/DW Allocations] X [70%] +

[Current Year Adult/DW Allocations] X [52.5%]

If the spending thresholds are not met, the local workforce development areas may submit further documentation of their spending as part of the application. Because the total spending formula is based upon expenditures, the local area may also provide information on the county's commitments through the end of the current fiscal year to demonstrate the county being "on track" to spend at least 70 percent of first year funds and to demonstrate a financial need for RREAF. For direct services to participants, the county's commitments shall be reported by the participant in the County Finance Information System (CFIS) Client Tracking System. To report additional commitments not tracked in CFIS, the JFS 18126 includes specific line items identifying the types of commitments that may be taken into consideration.

If the local workforce development area does not meet the spending criteria, the RREAF application will still be reviewed for potential partial funding.

3.Information entered into OhioRED and OWCMS. Specific layoff event(s) to be funded with RREAF must be entered into OhioRED with expected layoff dates and include the number of PAWs within six months before or after the initial RR request date. Basic information regarding the PAWs who attended a worker orientation session must be entered into OWCMS by direct entry or another system.

4.The level of partner collaboration. The local workforce development area through the RREAF application must demonstrate a streamlined service delivery model by reducing duplicative efforts and leveraging available resources, including Wagner-Peyser employment services and other workforce development system partner staff.

5.Funding career services. RREAF applications shall budget no more than 25 percent of the total requested budget for career services.

The OWD RR Unit will review and determine whether or not to approve the application.

Applications and the approval of funds must be for a particular program year. If the delivery of RR services goes beyond the program year, the WDB director must e-mail the OWD RR Unit requesting that funding continue for the next program year.

Incremental Funding

Depending on its finances, ODJFS may fund large requests incrementally by calendar quarter. Local workforce development areas may request subsequent increments by e-mail to RAPDRESP@jfs.ohio.gov. Requests will be reviewed against the plan for services and outcomes, participant service data in OWCMS, and spending and obligation of the prior increment(s). The outcomes will need to be on track according to the plan for services for incremental approval.

Also, if the local workforce development area or county expends at least 70 percent of the total requested funds according to the plan of services, the local area may submit a new application for additional funding to serve additional PAWs from the event.

VII.Monitoring

The local workforce development area's oversight and monitoring must include a review of the effectiveness of the area's response to the event. This includes:

1.An assessment of collaboration among RR teams and members;

2.The efficiency of service delivery to employers and PAWs;

3.Timeliness and completeness of data entry into OhioRED and/or OWCMS; and

4.Use of funds in a manner that is consistent with the funding application and federal and state laws and local procedures.

Through the state's monitoring system, program and fiscal monitors will review the following during the annual onsite monitoring review:

1.The local area's implementation of RR activities, including results from local monitoring efforts;

2.The funding application, and

3.Compliance with federal laws and regulations and state and local policies.

Any compliance issues will be handled through the state's findings resolution process.

VIII.Technical Assistance

The OWD Rapid Response Unit will oversee Ohio's RR program to identify notable practices and document RR activity throughout the state. The OWD Rapid Response Unit will also provide oversight of the activities of the local RR teams.

The RR unit provides the following activities:

1.Technical assistance for the development of a RR team protocol;

2.Ongoing support, guidance, training, and technical assistance to local teams, local WDBs, and OhioMeansJobs centers;

3.Reviewing, managing, and reporting out on data derived from local activity; and

4.Providing financial resources to the local RR teams and stakeholders.

For additional information, questions may be sent to the OWD Rapid Response Unit: RAPDRESP@jfs.ohio.gov.

IX.References

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act § 134, Pub. L. 113-128.

20 C.F.R. §§ 682.300 - 682.370.

Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN), Pub. L. 100-379, 29 U.S.C. 2101, et seq, 20 C.F.R. Part 639, et seq.

USDOL, Training and Employment Guidance Letter WIOA N0. 3-15 Operating Guidance for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, Guidance on Services Provided through the Adult and Dislocated Worker Program under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA or Opportunity Act) and Wagner-Peyser, as Amended by WIOA, and Guidance for the Transition to WIOA Services, (July 1, 2015).

Ohio Rev. Code §§ 4141.29(A)(4), 4141.29(A)(7), as amended by H.B. 2 (130th General Assembly).

ODJFS, Ohio Rapid Response Operations Guidance, (January 2017).

ODJFS, Worker's Guide to Unemployment Compensation, (January 2016).

Rescission

ODJFS, Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Policy Letter No. 15-15, Rapid Response Program Requirements - Employer Layoff and Closure Events, (August 6, 2015).