When we think about the economic health of the Lincoln Trail region, it’s clear our eight-county area has a lot going for it.
We’re seeing investments from both new companies and businesses already operating in our communities. Our entrepreneurial culture has led to many successful start-ups. Employers in a wide array of industries are now hiring. And thanks to attributes such as our logistics-friendly location and business-friendly climate, our economic forecast is just as bright.
Still, in a region with diverse industries – industries headquartered across the nation and the world – we are not immune to losing jobs. No community is. Between all the exciting announcements related to expanding factories, new healthcare facilities and more, some employers will get smaller and even close.
The Kentucky Career Center – Lincoln Trail (KCC-LT) assists employees and employers facing a layoff with a suite of no-cost services called Rapid Response. Our goal is to ensure every employee affected by a layoff successfully transitions to another employer or has access to education or training needed to enter a new in-demand career.
The good news is that just as one business in our region may face a layoff, multiple employers are interested in recruiting those workers. Finding the right talent remains a top priority for employers. In fact, local hiring managers often tell us that the competition for their employees is just as concerning as the competition for their customers.
When our Rapid Response team meets with an employer in transition, we develop a customized plan based on the specific needs of the company and its employees. We consider, for example, the timeline, the skill and education level of the employees and if the circumstances of the layoff qualify employees for extended services.
Our team strives for early engagement, meeting with employees before the layoff happens. During these sessions, we bring the area’s full lineup of employment and education partners to the employees. This is an opportunity for employees to get information and connect with resources to help them transition back into the workforce as quickly and as successfully as possible.
Services include job search assistance and job leads, career coaching, unemployment insurance information, information concerning healthcare options and more. In addition, employees who require education or training to transition to an in-demand career field may qualify for tuition assistance through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, or if the layoff is a result of foreign competition, the Trade Adjustment Assistance Program.
As disheartening as a layoff may be, Rapid Response is designed to help ensure employees transition to new opportunities.
For employers, I want to emphasize that no-cost Rapid Response services have proven to improve outcomes for both the employer and the transitioning employees. We know the decision to lay off employees is one no employer wants to make, but our region’s workforce partners are always ready with support that can make a real difference.
For employers enjoying growth and seeking talent, I want to remind you KCC-LT’s business services team is a valuable resource available at no cost at any time. Specifically in the unfortunate occurrence of a layoff, our employer partners throughout the eight-county region have turned out to be a promising next step for laid off employees. If you’re not already familiar with the workforce development community that strives to match employers with the talent they need to succeed and grow, I encourage you to contact the KCC-LT location nearest you or learn more about our services at www.ltcareercenter.org.
Jackie Masterson is an employment and training specialist and Rapid Response coordinator for the Lincoln Trail Area Development District, which serves Breckinridge, Grayson, Hardin, LaRue, Marion, Meade, Nelson and Washington counties.