Rapid Response is an outplacement program designed to respond to major layoffs and plant closings by quickly coordinating services and providing immediate aid to affected companies and their workers.

The Department of Career Services, a division of the Massachusetts Department of Workforce Development, provides Rapid Response services for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

The Rapid Response team will work with your company to customize public and private efforts to minimize the disruptions of a major layoff on you, the company, and the community.

Workers who are expecting a layoff or plant closing, or who wish to learn more about the services Rapid Response can provide to workers should contact the Commonwealth's Rapid Response Team.

Benefits to Workers
When the Rapid Response Team becomes aware of a layoff or plant closing we contact company/union officials to arrange a meeting to discuss potential services that can be provided to you on-site prior to your layoff. Meeting with Rapid Response allows you to access services and programs which will help you through this difficult time. Rapid Response Teams can provide employees with information and services, including:
  • Explanation of Unemployment Insurance Benefits
  • Information on Career Centers
  • Career Counseling
  • On-site Workshops
  • Job Search Assistance
  • Resume Preparation Assistance
  • Interviewing Skills Workshops
  • Information on the Local Labor Market
  • Information about Education and Training Opportunities
  • Information on Health Benefits and Pensions
  • AFL-CIO Rapid Response Services for Unionized Workers
Rapid Response specialists are experienced in assisting workers cope with job change. During the Rapid Response sessions they will begin to gather information on your needs and begin to organize the services necessary to help you get back to work. Additionally Rapid Response meetings will introduce you to many other programs that will help you during this time of transition.

The Massachusetts One-Stop Career Center system provides you the support you need throughout your transition from unemployment to new employment. The Career Center staff will help you with all your job search needs. They will assess your marketability and may provide assistance for you to attend training at a private, community, public school or college.

Local services available at One Stop Career Centers may include:
  • Various job search workshops
  • Use of computers, telephones, and fax machines for job search;
  • Financial planning and stress management workshops;
  • Financial support for training;
  • Assistance in locating appropriate training including how to start your own business
  • Income support if your job was lost due to foreign trade;
  • Special services for Veterans and adults with disabilities.

Trade-Related Layoffs and Plant Closings

The Rapid Response team will work with your company/union to provide information on the Trade Adjustment Act and the benefits you can receive if the layoffs are a result of foreign trade. Your company, the Rapid Response Team, or workers can file a trade petition with the United States Department of Labor.

Notice of Layoffs

Rapid Response's early intervention services can only be initiated when the Commonwealth of Massachusetts or the Rapid Response Team learns of impending layoffs. Companies will often notify the Rapid Response Team of a layoff and invite them to come on site to help the workers who will be laid off. In some cases, employers are required to provide 60 days notice before a layoff. Certain mass layoffs and plant closings will meet the criteria of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining (WARN) Act.

Rapid Response Contact Information

Contact the state's Rapid Response Team for additional information on the benefits of Rapid Response and other services for your company, or to provide notice of an impending layoff.

Rights and Responsibilities Under Employment Laws and Regulations

Elaws Advisor help you understand your rights and responsibilities under the employment laws and regulations, such as the WARN Act, administered by the Department of Labor (DOL). Each Advisor imitates the interaction you might have with a DOL employment law expert-it asks questions and provides answers based on your responses.