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National Emergency Grant Promising Practices Series

Working Across Boundaries in Planning a Regional NEG Response

Neither natural disasters nor the resulting layoffs which may follow are constrained by the geographic and political boundaries that organize the workforce investment system. An effective NEG response to any kind of economic dislocation is often dependent upon the willingness of planners and practitioners to work across these boundaries. This document highlights promising practices that are based on exchanging information and resources; coordinating training policies and service delivery designs across program jurisdictions; and obtaining the guidance and expertise of neighboring jurisdictions with relevant experience.  NEG projects showcased in this review: Florida - Hurricanes and Storms 2004; Mississippi - Hurricane Katrina; Missouri - Ford/Lear Dual Enrollment; Massachusetts - Central Massachusetts Trade Dual Enrollment; and Virginia - Independence Air.
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Using Data Strategically to Align Job Seekers and Occupational Demand

When a NEG project is able to effectively align the competencies of dislocated workers with the specific skill requirements of existing job opportunities, it is more likely that these individuals will be successful in their reemployment efforts. Effective NEG grantees have used available labor market information (LMI) resources to produce user-friendly information that can refine plans for training and education programs as well as job search efforts of dislocated workers. This document features promising practices relating to three different data analysis methodologies: Maine’s skills transferability analysis determines how core competencies from prior jobs transfer to new occupations and industries; Missouri’s economic impact analysis profiles the displaced workforce and projects regional economic impacts; and Oregon’s usability analysis supports the use of four online labor market tools by dislocated workers and workforce professionals. NEG projects showcased in this review: Maine - Bath Iron Works; Missouri - Ford/Lear Dual Enrollment; and Oregon - Hewlett-Packard Dual Enrollment.
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Expanding NEG Training Capacity through Partnerships with Community Colleges

This promising practices review illustrates how effective partnerships between community colleges and NEG grantees can aid in the efficient design of educational programs that are relevant for the laid off workers. Large layoff events pose distinct challenges when planning for the affected workforce to receive retraining that may be necessary for reemployment success. Collaboration with community colleges can help to meet the unique training needs of dislocated worker populations.     NEG projects showcased in this review:  North Carolina - Pillowtex; Maine - Great Northern Paper; and Mississippi - Hurricane Katrina.
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Coordinating NEG Responses to Support High Growth Sectors and Occupations

This document highlights how to align training and reemployment strategies for a dislocated worker population with opportunities in growing industries that have potential for long-term career paths. These NEG grantees illustrate exemplary practices for supporting unpredictable labor market growth patterns emerging after a natural disaster; designing training options for mobile military populations operating in national labor markets; developing tiered Individual Training Accounts as an incentive to fund training in growth sectors; and emphasizing career pathways to reinforce advancement potential.  NEG projects showcased in this review:  Mississippi - Hurricane Katrina; Colorado - BRAC Implementation; and Wisconsin - Interpane/Morningstar.
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Peer Support Systems that Strengthen Outreach and Participation

Peer support workers are individuals who are hired directly from a workforce impacted by job loss to help implement NEG reemployment services to this same group of workers. These trusted co-workers have firsthand knowledge of the culture and characteristics of their dislocated worker group, better enabling them to recruit participants into the NEG project and to determine what NEG services may be appropriate for these individuals. This document highlights the promising practices pertaining to defining the roles and responsibilities of peer support teams, recruiting and hiring peer support workers, deploying peer support staff to the affected workforce, and providing supervision and training to peer support workers. NEG projects showcased in this review:  Maine -- Great Northern Paper; North Carolina -- Pillowtex; and Oregon -- Amalgamated Sugar Company and Hewlett-Packard.
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Implementing Transition Teams to Lead the Dislocation Response

Transition teams, composed of key workplace and community leaders, can improve dislocated workers’ access to needed program services and support resources, as well as enhance the start-up phase of NEGs. This review document highlights promising NEG practices in developing three types of transition teams: workforce transition teams that improve recruitment, outreach, and services to dislocated workers; community transition teams that mobilize community stakeholders and resources to assist workers; and economic transition teams that assess the regional impact of major dislocations and support development revitalization efforts. NEG projects showcased in this review: Oregon - Hewlett-Packard Dual Enrollment and Amalgamated Sugar Dual Enrollment; North Carolina - Pillowtex; Maine - Great Northern Paper; and  Missouri - Ford/Lear Dual Enrollment.
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Partnering with Organized Labor to Support Reemployment

State-level agreements with labor federations have provided important support for pre-NEG activities such as early warning systems and Rapid Response delivery. Once a NEG is implemented, organized labor’s relationships with its members, knowledge of resources, and effective reemployment practices have strengthened service capacity, increased participation rates, and enhanced reemployment results for workers. This promising practices review describes organized labor’s national and regional structures and highlights promising practices resulting from organized labor’s roles in planning and implementing local reemployment strategies, to include increasing service capacity, as well as providing outreach, information, and reemployment support to workers. NEG projects showcased in this review: Maine - Great Northern Paper; Massachusetts - Central MA Trade Dual Enrollment; Missouri - Ford/Lear Dual Enrollment; Oregon - Amalgamated Sugar Dual Enrollment; and  Wisconsin - Interpane/Morningstar.
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Coordinating Resources to Meet the Reemployment Challenge

Dislocated workers need accurate information regarding program services and benefits, as well as guidance on career planning, training, and education services available to them. The challenge in developing a smooth continuum of these services can be in aligning the purposes, timing, and regulations of different federal funding streams. This promising practices review highlights how effectively managed NEGs coordinate resources to provide seamless support to workers throughout the reemployment process. NEG projects showcased in this review: Iowa - Whirlpool Dual Enrollment; North Carolina - Pillowtex;Oregon - Amalgamated Sugar Dual Enrollment; Massachusetts - Central MA Trade Dual Enrollment; Missouri - Ford/Lear Dual Enrollment; and Wisconsin - Interpane/Morningstar.
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Establishing and Managing a Temporary Jobs Program

NEG disaster projects create temporary employment to assist with clean-up, restoration, and humanitarian assistance in communities harmed by natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods, or fires. This review document highlights promising practices in determining an employer of record for hiring, insuring, overseeing, and paying a temporary workforce; recruiting workers; selecting and managing worksites; and providing workforce services to temporary workers to support their reemployment goals. NEG projects showcased in this review: Pennsylvania - Flood 2006; Florida - Hurricanes and Storms 2004; Mississippi - Hurricane Katrina; and Louisiana - Hurricane Katrina/Rita.
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Preparing for the Unexpected in Disaster Grants

Disasters can create job loss while at the same time undermining the ability of the workforce system to quickly respond with assistance to dislocated workers. The timing and impact of natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods, and fires cannot be predicted; however, the workforce system can prepare for them through careful planning and the alignment of procedures to ensure a systematic NEG response. This promising practices review highlights the creation of emergency Web sites, training manuals, and contingency operations plans; the deployment of dedicated staff to coordinate the emergency response; and the streamlining of the process to prepare an emergency NEG application. NEG projects showcased in this review: Florida - Hurricanes/Storms 2004; Mississippi - Hurricane Katrina; and Pennsylvania - Flood 2006.
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