As required by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), the Reemployment and Emergency Assistance Coordination Team (REACT) serves as Florida’s state-level rapid response dislocated worker unit responsible for carrying out statewide rapid response activities and overseeing rapid response activities carried out by the local workforce development boards. One of the primary purposes of rapid response is to prevent or minimize the impacts of layoffs and dislocations on workers, businesses and communities. Rapid response ensures immediate access to affected workers to help them quickly re-enter the workforce and plays an important role in providing customer-focused services to both dislocated workers and employers.
Rapid response services are provided when employers submit layoff and business closing notices under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act and when there is an announcement or notification of a permanent closure (regardless of the number of affected employees), a mass layoff (affecting 50 or more workers), a mass job dislocation resulting from a natural or other disaster, or when a Trade Adjustment Assistance petition is filed.
Examples of rapid response services provided by the local workforce development boards and their local career center service providers include:
- Information and support for affected workers for applying for Reemployment Assistance benefits
- Information on the impacts of layoff on health coverage and other benefits
- Information on and referral to career services, reemployment-focused workshops as well as job referrals and training opportunities
- Referral to community agencies for supportive services
- Arranging job fairs and other special employment events
- Layoff aversion strategies and activities designed to prevent or minimize the duration of unemployment resulting from layoffs
The Workforce Investment Act of 1998, as superseded by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, established the requirement for states to implement statewide rapid response activities.
Pursuant to the state’s Workforce Innovation Act of 2000 (Chapter 445, Florida Statutes), DEO is required to provide direction to the local workforce development boards regarding rapid response activities in accordance with the direction provided by CareerSource Florida, Inc.