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Higher Education Coordination Commission

Layoff Resources for Workers and Employers

The Office of Workforce Investments, working with local workforce development boards, offers help to both employers and workers before and during a layoff. If you are a worker who has been laid off or has been notified of an impending layoff, we offer free services that prepare you to find new work. If you are an employer facing a business closure or layoff, we can help you proceed and provide on-site services for your workers.

About Rapid Response to Layoffs

The Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) Office of Workforce Investments works closely with local workforce development boards and other partners on a team response to a layoff. This is called “Rapid Response.” The goal of a Rapid Response team is to enable affected workers to return to work as quickly as possible following a layoff, or to avoid unemployment altogether. When a layoff happens, Rapid Response teams provide information and services to return workers to employment as soon as possible.

View the Oregon Rapid Response and Layoff Aversion Information and Contact List.

Layoff Resources for Dislocated Workers

If you are a worker who has been laid off or has been notified of an impending layoff, we offer services that prepare you to get back to work and find key resources.

Oregon dislocated worker services begin at a local WorkSource Oregon center. WorkSource Oregon is the statewide set of programs and services helping Oregonians find jobs. WorkSource Oregon Center staff can explain and help workers who have been laid off access the many services and programs Oregon has available. When a layoff happens, Rapid Response teams also provide information and services to Oregonians. Our team also publishes a written guide with numerous resources for workers.

If you are laid ​​off or ​have been notified of a layoff, we have free resources for you in the Guide for Laid Off Workers in Oregon. This document provides key information to help you in areas including: getting unemployment and health insurance, accessing WorkSource Oregon Centers and Programs, services for veterans, resources to pay for college or training, planning a job search, and more.

In addition, find more resources on our website pages below.

Layoff Resources for Employers

If you are an employer considering a major layoff or plant closure, local Rapid Response teams can help guide you through the process. You can also work with us if you're struggling and need resources to be able to adapt to a changing economy, stay in business, or retain employees.

In some cases, there may be an opportunity to save jobs and avoid resulting hardships imposed on​ individuals and communities. Layoff aversion is a cooperative effort, but early response is critical.

An important initial step in Rapid Response is to assess the reason for a business closure or layoff. If there is an indication that the business closure or layoff might be averted, the Office of Workforce Investments, in conjunction with the local Rapid Response Teams and other partners, can provide technical assistance to interested parties to investigate possible layoff aversion strategies.

Business closures and worker layoffs can occur for a variety of reasons. If you are considering a layoff of workers, contact your local WorkSource Oregon​ center for Rapid Response assistance. The ​HECC's Office of Workforce Investments works with local Rapid Response teams to help you navigate this challenging process.

Early involvement is essential to helping workers prepare to re-enter the workforce as quickly and seamlessly as possible.

  • Rapid Response services are flexible and responsive to the needs of Oregon employers, providing customized, collaborative solutions.
  • Rapid Response teams focus on enabling workers to return to work as quickly as possible.
  • Many services are funded through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and are offered at no cost to you or your workers.

The sooner employers contact a Rapid Response unit, the more time workers have to develop a proactive plan to transition to new employment. Early intervention is absolutely key to smooth transitions. In some cases, employers are required to provide 60 days' notice before laying off workers. Visit Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act for more information about the notice requirements.​

Employers should consider the following logistical needs.

  • Space availability for the Rapid Response services and possible equipment, such as computers, and internet access, as well as workshop space.
  • Human resource staff assistance for transitioning workers, such as typing resumes, helping with job fair arrangements, or providing coaching on interviewing skills.
  • Paid time for workers to attend Rapid Response Sessions and job search activities. 

Employers should expect Rapid Response Team questions related to the following.

  • When the layoff or closure is going to occur, or if, in fact, it has already occurred. Is there a likelihood of recall? If so, when?
  • The reason for the layoff (to be mindful of any potential Trade Act opportunities).
  • Number of impacted workers—and whether they will be laid off on the same date or the layoff is phased.
  • The presence of unions and collective bargaining agreements.
  • Industry and impacted occupations: What does the company do? What are the products the company makes and the types of occupations and skills group(s) that are being affected?
  • A Worker Survey that provides workers with an opportunity to tell Rapid Response staff what’s needed from their perspective, which may include training, job assistance, supportive services, and more.

WARN: Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification

The Office of Workforce Investments sends out public notifications regarding some impending layoffs under the authority of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act. The WARN Act offers protection to workers, their families, and communities by requiring employers to provide a 60-day notice to the affected employees and to both state and local representatives prior to a plant closing or mass layoff. OWI receives these notifications and shares the information publicly.