Rapid Response Program


WorkShare Program

Before you commit to laying off your staff, have you explored the potential benefits of the WorkShare Program as a layoff aversion/employee retention tool?

For frequently asked questions, check out these Q&As (PDF).

Get help when your company is down-sizing or closing.

The Workforce Development Board of South Central Wisconsin (WDBSCW) offers layoff transition services in conjunction with the WorkSmart Network to help companies and workers deal with the effects of layoffs and company closures. Rapid Response’s central purpose is to help affected workers quickly transition to new employment.

If your company is facing a layoff, Rapid Response, a federal program available to qualifying organizations, can help you manage the process effectively. Rapid Response has two key functions:

  1. Provide immediate assistance to companies and its affected workers
  2. Provide employers with access to a skilled labor pool in their area

The WorkSmart Network, in conjunction with the WDBSCW, and its business service team can help you consider the transition of your workforce to other companies to save your company money on unemployment benefits. Our experienced workforce professionals can also offer your company coaching through the layoff process, which is particularly valuable for companies that have never been through one before. The team can also prepare and schedule Rapid Response sessions to orient your displaced workers to the workforce services and community resources available to help them get back into the workforce.

How It Works

The Rapid Response transition team will meet with your firm to discuss available help. We can work one-on-one with displaced workers to discuss unemployment insurance benefits, job placement services, and training options; and help you coordinate with other services in your area. While many resources are available online, resources are also available at your local American Job Center. We can also provide information and resources on-site via Rapid Response presentations upon request. Topics may include:

  • Unemployment Insurance (UI)
  • Dislocated worker programs offering employment and training services
  • Job Center resources
  • Healthcare resources available during employment transition
  • Retirement options
  • Topic-specific workshops (resume writing, interviewing, online job search, household budgeting, career planning, coping with job loss, etc.)
  • Labor market information
  • On-site WIOA Dislocated Worker Program registration sessions
  • One-on-one assistance and scheduled visits to the affected work sites
  • Targeted job fairs for affected workers
  • Transition centers and on-site assistance for affected workers

*Services can be tailored to meet the needs of the business and its workers. The services are available at no cost to the company because of funding provided by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).

Benefits for Employers

Providing Rapid Response services to your workers during layoffs or plant closures results in multiple benefits to you as an employer. Benefits may include:

  • Higher productivity and worker morale and lower absenteeism during the layoff process
  • Lower unemployment insurance costs as workers may become re-employed more quickly when services are provided prior to layoff
  • Decreased likelihood work disruptions during the layoff process
  • Better public and community relations are likely when a company highlights the services it’s providing to help affected workers during a layoff event

Notice Requirements for Layoffs

In some cases, under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, federal/state law may require written notice be provided 60 days in advance of a business closing or workforce reduction. Employers must comply with both laws if they both apply. Once notice is provided, the Rapid Response team will work with a company to present information to laid-off (dislocated) workers affected by the layoff.

Rapid Response Team

In South Central Wisconsin, the Rapid Response team is comprised of representatives from:

  • Workforce Development Board of South Central Wisconsin (WDBSCW)
  • WorkSmart Network
  • State of Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development
  • American Job Center partners
  • Local and State workforce and economic development partners


Retirement and Healthcare Coverage: Questions and Answers for Dislocated Workers | This PDF booklet addresses some of the common questions dislocated workers ask. In addition, there is a brief guide to additional resources at the back. Together, they can help you in making critical decisions about your healthcare coverage and your retirement benefits.

WDBSCW Rapid Response Folder | Information about the services and programs that may be available to Dislocated Workers and businesses.

Contact Information

For more information and help, please contact us:

Workforce Development Board of South Central Wisconsin (WDBSCW)
3513 Anderson Street, Suite 104
Madison, WI 53704
Phone: 608.249.9001