Dislocated Worker / Rapid Response Team Questions
1. What is a Dislocated Worker?
Dislocated workers are individuals who have been or will be laid off as a result of a plant closure or substantial layoff. Dislocated workers also include laid-off workers who are unlikely to return to their previous industry or occupation, displaced homemakers, and self-employed individuals who are unemployed because of general economic conditions or a natural disaster.
2. How do I get classified as a Dislocated Worker?
To be classified as a Dislocated Worker, you must go through a certification process. You can become certified as eligible at any Connecticut Works Center.
3. What services are available to eligible Dislocated Workers?
Dislocated Worker services include career transition services: no-cost services for job seekers include Certified Professional Résumé Writers; career development speacialists for job search and career assistance; Connecticut's Job Bank, an electronic listing of more than 1 million jobs; computers for job seeking and researching the labor market; an electronic talent bank for posting résumés; computers, phones and fax machines; and a wide variety of career workshops; possible funds for training (based on need), and consideration of special circumstances when applying for federal student financial aid for yourself, your spouse, and/or dependents.
4. How much do these services cost?
All Dislocated Worker services are free of charge.
5. Is every Dislocated Worker entitled to training funds?
The Dislocated Worker program is not an entitlement program. Funding for training is based on individual need and funds availability. Training must be short-term, lead to an occupation in demand, and be approved by the Department of Labor prior to enrollment.
6. If I am enrolled in an approved Dislocated Worker training program, must I still be available for work, making reasonable efforts to find work, and have to accept referrals to work in order to continue to collect Unemployment Compensation?
If you are enrolled in a training program that has been pre-approved by the Department of Labor, you can continue to collect Unemployment Compensation (up to the full 26 weeks only) and be exempt from the work search requirements while you are in training.
7. If I pay for a training program up-front, can I get reimbursed through this program?
No. When a training plan has been approved, the Dislocated Worker program operator writes a grant with the training facility for the cost of tuition and related fees. Since funds go directly to the school, and not the Dislocated Worker, no reimbursement can be made.
8. Do I have to wait until I have worked my last day to start using Dislocated Worker services?
Once you have been given an individual layoff notice and have been certified as a Dislocated Worker, you are eligible for services. If you have not been given an individual layoff notice, but you are employed at a facility for which your employer has made a public announcement of a planned closure and you are not likely to remain employed with your employer, or retire, you are eligible for certain Dislocated Worker services.
9. Are there any residency or income requirements tied to this program?
10. How can the Rapid Response Team help my company?
If your company is experiencing financial difficulties, the Rapid Response Team, headed by the Rapid Response Unit of the Department of Labor, can assist in exploring alternatives to layoffs. If layoffs cannot be averted, the team can provide your company with the opportunity to help workers make a more-effective transition to new employment by conducting prior-to-layoff on-site Early Intervention sessions. These sessions are designed to inform workers of the wealth of free services that are available to assist them in getting re-employed as quickly as possible. In addition, team members may be available to provide a series of on-site mini-workshops which introduce workers to the basics of conducting a successful job search. All services provided by the team are free of charge.