Middle Georgia Regional Commission is committed to building a skilled workforce that supports local competitiveness in the global economy. Our Business Services team focuses on business outreach and increasing our responsiveness to regional workforce needs. In collaboration with the Macon Economic Development Commission, Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority, and Macon Chamber of Commerce, we address Middle Georgia’s workforce needs by connecting economic development with Workforce Development programs and services for employers.
Services and resources include:
Rapid Response System
Rapid Response is a pro-active, business-focused, and flexible strategy designed for two major purposes:
- To help growing companies access an available pool of skilled workers from other companies that are downsizing or who have been trained in the skills your company needs to be competitive.
- To respond to layoffs and plant closings by quickly coordinating services and providing immediate aid to companies and their affected workers. Rapid Response teams will work with employers and any employee representative(s) to quickly maximize public and private resources to minimize the disruptions on companies, affected workers, and communities that are associated with job loss. Rapid Response can provide customized services on-site at an affected company, accommodate any work schedules, and assist companies and workers through the painful transitions associated with job loss.
Benefit to Employers
Providing Rapid Response services to your workers during layoffs or plant closings will result in multiple benefits to you as an employer. The more quickly the Rapid Response strategy is implemented, the better off your company and workers will be. Contact your state’s Dislocated Worker Unit to notify them of impending layoffs. Providing Rapid Response to your workers will help assure:
- Lower unemployment insurance costs as workers are re-employed more quickly when services have begun prior to layoff.
- Decreased likelihood of sabotage or work disruptions.
- Media and rumor management. Rapid Response teams understand the often confidential nature of layoffs and will work with the company to ensure confidentiality at all times.
- Better public relations for an employer. Rapid Response teams can also work with the media to highlight services an employer is providing to its workers during a layoff period, which will improve a company’s public image.
- Rapid Response teams can also provide information to companies with regard to any state or federal requirements or laws for notification, including the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act.
Benefits to Your Workers
The decision to lay off employees is one no employer wants to make. However, as layoffs do occur, inviting Rapid Response teams to meet with affected workers prior to the layoff will allow your employees to access services and programs that will help them through this difficult time. Rapid Response teams can provide your employees with information and services, including:
- Career Counseling and Job Search Assistance
- Resume Preparation and Interviewing Skills Workshops
- Information on the Local Labor Market
- Unemployment Insurance
- Information about Education and Training Opportunities
- Information on Health Benefits and Pensions
Local services available include use of computers, telephones, and fax machines for job searches; financial planning workshops; financial support for training; income support if jobs were lost due to foreign trade; and special services for veterans and adults with disabilities.
Trade-Related Layoffs and Plant Closings
The federal government provides additional services to workers whose jobs are lost due to foreign trade or shifts in production out of the United States. While not all job loss due to foreign competition meets the requirements of the Trade Act, the Rapid Response team will work with your company to provide information on Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) and the benefits you can receive if your company is certified as trade-affected. Your company, the Rapid Response team, or the workers themselves can file a trade petition with the United States Department of Labor. Ask your Rapid Response contact for more information on TAA and the petition process.