Completion Date: August 20, 2023

THE WHOLE PERSON CONCEPT – A VISION FOR NEED-BASED CUSTOMIZED SERVICES AND TRANSITIONS IN RAPID RESPONSE SERVICE DELIVERY

DISCLAIMER

This blog is written with the positive intent and motivation to promote new ideas and positive change based upon vision, ideas, concepts, and experiences created and espoused while conducting the professional workforce system service of a Rapid Response Coordinator, assigned at the Virginia Community College System Office and Thomas Nelson Community College (now Virginia Peninsula Community College), from 2008 – 2017. The contents of this blog may review, revisit, or expound upon previous ideas, visions, and concepts or explore or recommend new initiatives and pathways based on previous and current experiences. All thoughts, opinions, ideas, and concepts are expressly the position and opinion of the author, expressly and solely meant to provide the opportunity to again, promote positive transformational change, strategic and operational focus, alternative direction, discussion, engagement, innovation, and thought for optimization and betterment. It does not in any way or fashion, however, expressly speak for, take a position on, or represent the intent of, ideas, direction, policies, laws, mandates, processes, or procedures already in place by the Department of Labor and the Commonwealth of Virginia’s holistic Workforce System.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY INTEGRITY

To the fullest possible effort and extent, intellectual deference and credit were given to all source and referenced documents, and permission was obtained for use, when and if required.

© Copyright 2023: TheConsummateTransitioner, LLC. All rights reserved.

Library of Congress September 6, 2023

NEW INITIATIVES IN RAPID RESPONSE 

Apex need (2023)
Customized transitions (defined) (2010)
Customized services (umbrella approach) (2012)
Enhanced holistic rapid reemployment (2018 in the use of the term only)
Job loss inherent deficits (2013)
Job loss transition (2009)
Oneness (2015)
Parallel Alignment in Rapid Response (2016)
Self-disqualification/qualify (2017)
The speed of need (2015)
The Whole Person concept/approach (2014)

PREVIOUSLY INTRODUCED INITIATIVES EXPOUNDED UPON

Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (2013)
Asset protection (2010)
Backend engagement (2012)
Customized solutions (2011)
Customized transitions (2010)
Customized Needs Assessment Triangle (2013)
Deficit training (2013)
Dislocated workers a different kind of worker (2011)
Dislocated worker status (2007)
Engagement (2008)
Empathy (2015)
Feeder input/output model (2012)
Feed the Need (2012)
Front-end engagement (2012)
Holistic Needs (2012)
Impassioned engagement (2013)
Job loss transition event (2009)
Knowledge deficits (2008)
Lifelong learning (2009)
Meeting People Where They Are In Life (2013)
No fault criteria (2007)
No fault transitioner (2007)
Old SEVA Rapid Response logo (2010)
Proactive Rapid Response (2005)
Proactive engagement (2008)
Rapid Response Employee Briefing (2011)
Rapid Response Manager’s Meeting (2011)
Rapid Reemployment (2011)
Reactive Rapid Response (The Maytag repairman) (2005)
SEVA Rapid Response Service Plan (2011)
Short-term training (2009)
System of One (2015)
Transitioner (2007)
Time is a precious commodity (2011)
Triangle Engagement (2013)
Triangle Flips (2013)
Triangle of Needs (2013)
Triangle of Success (2013)
Triangle of Supportive Services Needs (2013)
The Awareness Doctrine (2008)
The Knowledge Gateway (2010)
The magnet on the refrigerator (2012)
Value-added (2009)

THE ESSENCE OF EVER-EVOLVING RAPID RESPONSE

They can’t see your vision, because God only showed it to you” – Steve Harvey

For me, it all started in the year 2000, when one important thing occurred that wholly changed the trajectory of my workforce career; for that was the year that I first met the Eastern Region Rapid Response Coordinator, Mr. Clifton D. O’Neill (1948 – 2010). We instantly bonded professionally. He would specifically ask for me to be his subject matter expert (SME) in job services and unemployment insurance presentations at Rapid Response employee informational sessions because in his words, he “liked my presentation style.” It was from watching him as a Rapid Response Coordinator, attending events, asking questions, and eventually being promoted to Workforce Services Supervisor in 2002, that I would formulate and extrapolate ideas based on my experiences at the Virginia Employment Commission in fundamentally understanding the holistic connection between unemployment insurance and reemployment services, and over twenty years in the military, that I would later put into motion over the fullness of time when I became the Rapid Response Coordinator a few years later.  When Clif retired in 2006, I was asked by the Regional Director to be the interim Eastern Region Rapid Response Coordinator until the position was advertised and permanently filled. From those early days of watching, being mentored by, and shadowing Mr. O’Neill, I have created an evolving vision that has become an established and substantiated body of work, that is experiential, genuine, I think germane, and all the applicable dots connect and fall in place when expressly articulated by me. As mandated by the Department of Labor that innovation be a unique quality of Rapid Response, to me, the Rapid Response program was always more than just a job. I became impassioned and attempted to be creative, and innovative in doing the work with integrity to make processes and procedures consistently and continuously within the realm and context of the program and the workforce system work optimally and better.  However, I have remained within the shadows…a ghostwriter, influencer, and implementer behind the scenes, and many of my ideas and concepts, if my true story were told, have had local, regional, statewide, and national recognition and prominence.

Hence, this blog is a story about six terms or phrases that are inextricably linked, connected, and introduced into the workforce system by me in the Rapid Response program over the last thirteen years espousing an evolving vision and a position of oneness (2015) connecting, combining, and coalescing them into a six-point successful workforce Rapid Response Rapid Reemployment body of work and over-arching strategy. These terms are (1) customized transitions (2010), (2) enhanced holistic rapid reemployment (2018) the same as the feeder input/output model (2012), (3) Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs -1943 (introduced into Rapid Response in 2013), (4) deficit training or training to the deficit (2013), (5) meeting people where they are in life (2013), and (6) the whole person approach or concept (2014). To me, all these terms are connected and interplay like a beautiful puzzle and symphony within the workforce system operating as a synergy of effort toward a holistic and synergistic system of one, a concept that I created in 2015; as they complement each other, work together, work in tandem, and again for emphasis, are inextricably linked in the mission end state of oneness (discussed later). I am the only person in America that knows how to put the puzzle together and there is a reason why…I have always seen and had a clear and unambiguous vision…envisioning what others can only parrot, but cannot imagine or see to its full evolution, potential, and fruition. Even though you may have heard all those six terms or phrases in isolation, the ensuing six-point flowing, and connected strategy has never been presented or briefed before as expressly articulated by me in this blog post.

IMPETUS

I did not think much of such terms or phrases oneness, meeting people where they are, holistic, or the whole person concept and the like when creating and routinely using them. They were everyday language to me. Recently (within the last three years), they have become buzzwords in the workforce system, and I have noticed that across multiple professions these terms have become variations of everyday language and some of the terms have taken on a life of their own, thereby morphing into other creative terms such as “the whole of you,” “the total you,” “the whole human,” and “the total human,” and more. Since I was the genesis of the terms in the workforce system via the Rapid Response program, it is prudent that I must tell my story, so that clarity and the correct message and intent of the original usage of these terms as initially created in Rapid Response service delivery application is not lost and is correctly conveyed, established, and used with the full array of comprehension and understanding.

By observation, however, it is notable that in my vision, concept, and approach the whole person approach is the final tenant and individualized end state of the over-arching umbrella term called customized services in Rapid Response. Over time, in doing the field work and being an impassioned practitioner, I have now evolved to understand and see my vision even more clearly. Therefore, I have taken a considerable amount of time (April – August 2023) to write this blog to explain these evolutionary terms, and how they encapsulate the effort of the Rapid Response program to provide need-based customized services per the Department of Labor mandate to meet the holistic and individual customized needs of the impacted/affected employer and employee during a job loss transition event (2009).

WHAT IS THE RAPID RESPONSE PROGRAM?

Rapid Response in simple layman’s terms is a deliberate federal program that exists to engage, educate, empower, aid, assist, and provide direction through an impending job loss transition event with the successful result being reemployment as quickly as possible. To avoid confusion, and again to reiterate, Rapid Response is not a medical triage program, and again, it is a federal program under the auspices and funding of the Department of Labor that is administered by all states and United States territories, see Department of Labor Frequently Asked Questions. Rapid Response works primarily with businesses and other entities that employ workers to help these workers when they have consummated or in an impending job loss transition event. Rapid Response is exclusively for dislocated workers that have attained and maintained the status of a dislocated worker (2007) – a permanent job loss transition event initiated by an employer and the impacted/affected employee is losing his or her job through no-fault-of-their-own. Again, the goal or end state is to get the impacted/affected worker back to work as quickly as possible.

THE JOB LOSS EVENT (2009) – LAYOFF

Please note in this ensuing blog/article that the only time I ever use the word “layoff” is when it was encased in direct quotes or directly from using source material. Experientially, I have found that businesses/employers do not like the word layoff; they prefer the word transition. As a gradual paradigm shift, wherever and whenever appropriate, I used in this blog/article the term job loss transition, a term that I started using in 2009 in writing my first blog… Becoming the Consummate Transitioner – New Way of Thinking for Job Searchers. Technically, a layoff is an employer-initiated separation of an impacted/affected employee from an employer due to no fault of heir own, with inextricable ties to unemployment insurance, a dislocated worker status, and hopefully, the Rapid Response program. Once the job loss transition occurs, it is, therefore, terminal and over and the impacted/affected worker automatically transitions to a dislocated worker status. Once in a dislocated worker status, the forward movement and transition begins and is an eventual individual journey (customized transition) afterward, hopefully on the road to recovery and reemployment. In my vision, the proactive game in Rapid Response is to strategically prevent the job loss transition via proactive front-end engaged connection and sustained connections over time because of the reality of perceived quality and value in the efforts of the program. With each transition, there is an opportunity, to customize the transition and the transitioner based on unique individual needs, to provide knowledge for direction, to become better, to change the trajectory, re-career, or to be trained, retrained, or certified for better upward mobility or employability. The best time to do this based on your life’s options and where you actually are in life is when you are in and under the color of a job loss transition event, and are a dislocated worker, because it can possibly be done for the right price…FREE.

(1) CUSTOMIZED TRANSITIONS (2010)

If you were to ask me today…to define Rapid Response in just two words, I would say it is basically “customized transitions” because customized transitions are the apex needs (2023) of the impacted/affected whole group and culminate with individual apex needs of the impacted/affected individual employee. In the end, the determining success of what Rapid Response is all about is an individual or whole person impacted/affected employee starting in an affected group format and then on to an eventual individual solo journey of getting back to work or reemployed as quickly as possible or rapid reemployment based on their own unique needs (a customized transition). In constantly evolving, I did not always see Rapid Response this way, but now to me, this is what it is all about. In essence, these impacted/affected employees are in transition going through a span and continuum of physiological, psychological, and emotional trauma, and experiences, however slight, when receiving notification that an impending job loss transition event will occur. Summarizing this, they have general as a group and specific as an individual, apex needs that will have to be assessed, addressed, customized, and reasonably met, hopefully with empathy (2015) and compassion; thereby, stemming or preventing the deleterious effects that may come and affect the totality a person’s life from the loss of income and assets due to a job loss.

Now to be very clear and unambiguous, the term customized transitions is expressly not to be confused with the term customized services. As you will see in my ensuing vision within this blog, customized transitions are a subset of an over-arching umbrella term of customized services. Customized services as promoted by the Department of Labor have various tentacles of need on a continuum. However, being in the military for over twenty years, I have always realized how important it is to have a mission statement/logo that provides clarity of purpose and unity of effort and direction operating as one system in mission and goal attainment (The Triangle of Engagement for Success, September 2017 and Culminating Points of Engagement, September 2017).

Concerning this position, in September 2010, the Rapid program migrated from the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) office to independent community colleges as decentralized independent account managers in charge of whole budgets of regional programs. In establishing Rapid Response regionally, I created and used the term customized transitions in my logo, when Rapid Response moved to Thomas Nelson Community College (TNCC) (now Virginia Peninsula Community College) and have used it in my southeastern/eastern (SEVA) logo and mission statement since 2010 in all job loss presentation events and proactive engagement presentations. See the logo below.

Articulating in writing the vision that I had formulated in my mind over the years, I started to write in the autumn of 2010 and completed in January 2011, my regional Rapid Response Service Plan, which originally only had four phases…and they were: (1). Proactive Outreach (2). Layoff Aversion (3). Rapid Response Events, and (4). Continuous Improvement. I added a fifth phase when the Vice President of Workforce Development, asked me to explain what my logo meant to her. Upon hearing my explanation, she recommended that I add Customized Workforce Solutions. The following is an excerpt from that phase: “Customized Solutions are the seamless and optimum integration of services for affected workers in the form of training, retraining, upskilling, certification, and recertification to meet the specified needs, requirements, and expectations of the new employers. It is an ongoing, continuous, re-evaluative process until reemployment is achieved.” Customized transitions are a subset of customized solutions. Customized solutions fulfill the mandate of customized services as expressly articulated by the Department of Labor.
By contrast and comparison, the Department of Labor aptly and correctly uses the term “customized services (United States Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration blog, June 2023). Again, in my approach in this blog, customized transitions are a subset under the umbrella term of customized services in fulfilling the needs of the individual job seeker on the road toward reemployment. As an umbrella term, customized services are provided based on assessing, understanding, and addressing the unique needs of the impacted/affected employer and/or employee, and the whole group. This blog aims to expound on a deliberate process and approach to what I meant when I created the term customized transitions in Rapid Response. It is also important to discuss customized services because it is demonstrably a misunderstood concept within some elements of Rapid Response. Understanding the concept and hierarchy of customized transitions, and the meaning behind it, helps visualize and develop a mental picture of the process when conducting quality and efficient Rapid Response service delivery of customized services based on needs because it answers the HOW and the WHY.

CUSTOMIZED TRANSITIONS DEFINED

Simply put, the word customized defined means “to modify to suit a particular individual or task,” (Oxford Dictionary, May 2023). We all know as seasoned practitioners, that the customization of Rapid Response services is based on needs. These need requirements are also reiterated in the Department of Labor’s Training and Employment Notice (TEN) 31-11 and on their website, blog describing what Rapid Response is. The meaning of transition is “the process or period of changing from one state or condition to another” (Oxford Dictionary, May 2023). In my usage of the term in Rapid Response, transition is derivative of an evolving, independent, and unique journey in life. It is tightly based on the premise that we as human beings are always going through transition in life. All life is in a state of flux constantly moving forward. All of life is some form of transition. Life does not rest; it does not stand still. Life does not look back. Life is not linear; it is metaphorically peaks and valleys and ups and downs. Growth is transition. Aging is a transition. Learning is a transition. Experience is transition. And yes, a job loss is a transition. So in understanding this concept, every unique person who experiences a job loss transition, and attains and maintains a dislocated worker status as an independent individual whole person will be on a separate and independent journey, in transition, as a transitioner (2007), with their own unique set of aspirations and needs that will require assessment and customization of needs to be met based on where they are in life (customized transitions) to attain and optimize success.

CUSTOMIZED TRANSITIONER DEFINED (2010)

In the eventual flow of Rapid Response, all individual impacted/affected groups will eventually by the process, morph into one independent transitioning apex individual or whole person. Customized Transitions is a customized service that provides an individual with a customized transition plan focused on the specific needs of each individual impacted/affected employee in an impending job loss transition event. It is based on the concept and the construct that each living person is a complete self-contained unit of action, an independent vector capable of making informed and educated decisions that impact and affect their outcome, progressing through life on their individual journey for attainment in achieving educational, training, and employment success. There are different paths and roads to be taken and different roads less traveled to get to the same place. From the beginning, based on the decisions made and directions taken, each person will have their own individual needs that must be assessed, addressed, and reasonably met where they are or happen to be in life. With each impacted/affected employee being their individual whole person in transition (the dislocation has occurred) in my vision and model, they will possess the following qualities within each individually customized transition triangle of success in attempting to attain success in re-employment. The whole person concept qualities are as follows:

1. There is a transition – there is an actual (reactive phase) or impending (proactive phase) dislocation; there is or will be a job loss transition and event.
2. There is a connection – there is a connection to the workforce system via the American Job/One Stop Center for holistic assessment by the Center and viable need/based partners for basic and unique foundational needs that require reasonable addressing to start an aspirational path toward addressing growth needs (Abraham Maslow Hierarchy of Needs) and upward and forward path toward reemployment, an opportunity to look at the whole person.
3. Each dislocated worker in transition is:

A. The Transitioner (2007) – The word Transitioner is not a recognized word in the dictionary. Since there is no formalized and recognized definition, I define it quite simply as one who transitions. It is firmly based on the concept and construct that if you choose to live life, then you should always give life your best in all that you do and endeavor to accomplish by striving to become better with each passing day. It is based on the original idea that every person going through life is a transitioner always in some form of transition as previously articulated. All life is a transition, in constant forward motion and flux, constantly reacting, responding, evolving, and evoking constant change, and change brings about the transition. Again, a job loss is a transition. Therefore, all transitions in life are unique and independent journeys. Each person is on their own individual journey and pathway, proceeding at their own pace or customized transition.

B. Triangle of Needs (2013) – is synonymous and analogous to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in that each person is a whole or complete unit or person progressing through life with specific and individual needs that must be reasonably assessed, addressed, and met to attain their own individual success based on the decisions they make and directions they take. Each person is an individual Triangle of Needs that must be assessed, addressed, and reasonably met.

B. Triangle of Success (2013) – is synonymous and analogous to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in that each person is motivated toward success using stair-stepping basic and growth needs to eventually reach self-actualization, fueled by the impetus of lifelong learning (2009). All successes are a system of steps addressing basic foundational needs morphing into growth needs. The quicker you reasonably address the growth needs, the sooner you attain the success of Rapid Reemployment, a converse relationship with addressing the speed of need (defined and discussed later). Each person has the motivation, desire, and drive for their own accomplished individual triangle of success, by not just merely surviving…but thriving.

C. The Triangle of Engagement or Triangle Engagement (2013) – requires a systems approach for employment success prior to and after a job loss transition that involves and includes proactive frontend and backend engagement of the business/employer, the impacted/affected worker, and viable and relevant workforce system partners to make the person and entity (affected employer and worker) whole again. Within the Triangle of Engagement, there is both proactive and reactive engagement. When required, it is necessary to use both in the proper phases and context of the job loss transition to attain success. Therefore, holistic engagement is not just about business (employer) engagement. It is systematically proactive ongoing engagement of all three that is the recipe for success because of knowledge deficits (discussed later) caused by constant, consistent, and evolving transitions in life that will happen and cannot be stopped.

D. Triangle of Supportive Services (2013) (Wrap Around Services) This is the single most important aspect of understanding the dislocated worker’s mindset to place them on a genuine pathway and journey to recovery. Focusing on this will ensure that the impacted/affected employee will not self-disqualify based on receiving relevant knowledge to make an informed decision on how to proceed on their individual customized transition. Each individual impacted/affected employee will have their own triangle of supportive services that needs to be met where they are in life. Considering Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, we must look at the “whole person.” What are the foundational/basic needs across the triangle of needs continuum that require addressing? Are there transportation, childcare, language, training, adult literacy, housing, food, or shelter needs that require addressing? What are your growth needs to aspire and accomplish your goal? Do you require additional education, training, or certification? Assessing and addressing these needs meets the person where they are in life and places them on an aspirational growth pathway toward upward mobility and reemployment.

(2) HOLISTIC RAPID REEMPLOYMENT (2018) FEEDER INPUT/OUTPUT MODEL (2012)

I first used the phrase holistic publicly in my writings of the white paper Layoff Aversion: Get Your Mind Right, June 2012. The essence of “customized transitions” is looking at Rapid Response in not just one aspect, but holistically and synergistically as an impacted/affected group in transition that has needs that have to be accessed and addressed while receiving Rapid Response services. Holistic simply defined is “characterized by the belief that the parts of something are interconnected and can be explained only by reference to the whole” (Oxford Dictionary, May 2023). Therefore, I interpret a holistic process – as a connected synergy of paralleled aligned (defined later), relevant, and viable workforce partner entities, proceeding in effort, in the same direction, and with the same energy and approach, accomplishing goals, as one whole unit and one workforce system, seeking one common end state…reemployment (Layoff Aversion: Get Your Mind Right, June 2012, The Rapid Response Transition Triangle for Employment Success, September 2014, The Triangle of Engagement for Success, September 2017, and Culminating Points of Engagement, September, 2017). I started using the word holistic in PowerPoint presentations and briefing the holistic approach in 2018 as depicted in the slides below. Note in the slide, I would brief that it is proactive or front-end need assessments. These assessments will increase the speed of need (defined later) and I would stress in my presentation that “the job loss transition and the entirety of the process is more than just about collecting unemployment insurance but about assessing the whole person.

 

Holistic Rapid Reemployment is merely a simple name change from the Feeder Input/Output model (2012), which was mentioned and introduced in the blog Layoff Aversion: Get Your Mind Right, June 2012, first published on the Sevarapidresponse.org website at Thomas Nelson Community College. I first published in the Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, Chamber Review an example of a diagram of the Feeder Input/Output model in the blog The Rapid Response Transition Triangle for Employment Success, September 2014. The guts and internals of the Feeder Input/Output model are the same as the Enhanced Holistic Rapid Reemployment model (discussed and explained later by example), but the name was simply changed to Enhanced Holistic Rapid Reemployment in 2018. I did the name change because the Rapid Response program migrated back to the Virginia Employment Commission in September 2017 after an absence of 10 years, with the specific purpose of inculcating and using labor market information (LMI) in Rapid Reemployment and Rapid Response initiatives. As a way of visually demonstrating this, I included LMI in the model in PowerPoint roadshow presentations as depicted above.

 

 

In March 2018, I used the opportunity to showcase and validate the inter-workings of the model by using a major and expansive job loss transition event to showcase how this model is a blueprint and is very effective in collaborating and including viable and relevant partners, and providing consistent and quality Rapid Responses when coordinating a very large transition event, with numerous multiple simultaneous job loss transition events, crossing the boundaries of different workforce development boards, with different systems of governance, with various impact dates. I had studied and rehearsed the model in my mind over the years since 2012 and was prepared when the opportunity came to pass.

ENHANCED HOLISTIC RAPID REEMPLOYMENT- A RELEVANT EXAMPLE (2018)

The assessment and customization of the previously mentioned needs and the simultaneous involvement of relevant and viable partners to promote consistency are what I call Enhanced Holistic Rapid Reemployment, which again, was renamed from the published 2012 Feeder Input/Output Model (discussed earlier) in 2018. The model embraces the needs of the affected workers in a job loss transition as a group and subsequently customized individual transitions, involving the whole person. Enhanced Holistic Rapid Reemployment is the expressed art of Rapid Response coordination in holistic referral, assessment, and collaborative partnerships within the workforce system. The aim is seamless consistency. Again, when most impacted/affected employees are about to experience a job loss transition, the first and probably the only thing they think about is collecting unemployment insurance, which is in the reactive phase of Rapid Response and a reactive mindset and tenant in the job loss transition event. If we are proactive (2005) in our approach and mindset, then we should be all about prevention of the job loss and not collecting unemployment insurance at all. This is done through a proactive engagement and consistent and holistic proactive assessment that includes the alignment, collaboration, involvement, and participation of the employer and viable and relevant workforce system partners that will increase the speed of addressing the needs of the affected/impacted employer and employee and lead to averting the layoff before the terminal date or rapid reemployment after the layoff.

I said in a previous interview with the Department of Labor that “Rapid Response is more art than science” (The Department of Labor’s Workforce GPS, Guest Blogger, December 2017), and the art is in the nuances of coordination that apply to each separate job loss transition event. As an example of this, in waiting for a demonstrative showcase opportunity, a significant event occurred that was the impetus and support behind the name change to Enhanced Holistic Rapid Reemployment from the Feeder Input/Output Model. In March 2018, as the Southeastern/Eastern Virginia (SEVA) Rapid Response Coordinator, I received Worker Adjustment Retraining and Notification (WARN) Act notices from a major regional chain store employer that approximately 38 stores would be closing impacting over three thousand (3058) impacted/affected employees. 36 of the stores were in my region, Southeastern/Eastern (SEVA); one store was in Central Virginia, and one was in North Carolina. Of the 38 stores impacted, 21 had buyers who intended to rebrand and rehire all impacted/affected employees. The remaining 17 stores were direct closures. There was a Worker Adjustment Retraining and Notification (WARN) Act correspondence submitted by the employer for each closure, which meant that there would be 17 independent, different, divergent, and customized closures from the one chain store closure and 17 independent job loss transition events, each requiring a holistic needs assessment approach. In keeping with both the direct and innate guidance of TEN 31-11, the Rapid Response Framework, Element 5 – Promoting the Effectiveness of Rapid Response Services: Providing Customized Collaborative Solutions And Consistent Quality Results, the formidable task in Rapid Response coordination was how to ensure all impacted employees received the same high quality and consistency of effort in service delivery and that they all would have timely and equal access to be educated and empowered by the Rapid Response Team to access the knowledge gateway and make informed decisions on how to best proceed in their impending individual transitions before each store independently closed. They all had different impact/closure dates. The challenges were to achieve parallel alignment (defined later) among workforce system relevant partners based on the need for consistency in service delivery to the impacted/affected employees. The 17 stores identified for closure were interspersed throughout the Southeastern/Eastern Virginia (SEVA) region crossing the territorial lines of two different workforce development boards. The two workforce development boards operated independently and separately, each with its own system of governance, located in two different workforce locations that governed and controlled two different American Job/One-Stop Centers. In addition, these Centers conducted operations, referrals, and need assessments differently.

On March 27, 2018, I coordinated and conducted in PowerPoint presentation, a Rapid Response Manager’s Meeting with 52 store managers and Human Resources Department representatives in attendance from the impacted/affected employer and with the Rapid Response Team core partners – the American Job/One Stop Center, the territorial community college, and the employment office. Again, per TEN 31-11, to comply with the innate framework of Rapid Response and to put the model in operational motion, I wrote the ensuing email message as a recap of the Rapid Response Manager’s Meeting PowerPoint presentation to provide explicit guidance and confirm the needs and requirements of the employer and all workforce development partners; to instill trust, transparency, and confidence in the employer about the ensuing and impending actions of the Rapid Response Team; to ensure that each store had the opportunity to receive an employee orientation (Rapid Response Employee Briefing (RREB (2011); to ensure that all impacted stores participated in the transition survey assessment (needs assessment); to ascertain whole group or holistic customizable needs; to be able to use the survey results as justification and substantiation for any workforce development board request for additional funding for occupational training; to ensure workforce partner parallel alignment and equal assessment for services; and; to ensure holistic and customized services to all of the impacted employees from the workforce system as a whole impacted/affected group, and subsequently, individually in customized transitions as an individual whole person, when and if they made connection with the American Job/One Stop Center. Writing the ensuing email became the perfect opportunity to bring to life the Feeder Input/Output model in Enhanced Holistic Rapid Reemployment addressing both the impacted/affected employees as a group and as potential individuals for customized transitions. The event was highly successful, and the model worked flawlessly without any outside oversight, direction, or input and the administrative process was smooth, effective, and efficient in handling the extremely large impact numbers.

The ensuing email has been scrubbed, sanitized, and approved by the Virginia Employment Commission’s Office of Information Control to protect the name and interests of the impacted employer. The intent of the following message, however, is not lost. It begs the question in future planning of how this same scenario would have been handled and played out if it were a major chain store closing throughout the whole state. What would be the model of coordination and consistency? Would all participants proceed with parallel alignment? Have you thought of this process as a Rapid Response Coordinator? How would you espouse parallel alignment and consistency of service delivery among partners to meet fundamental customer service needs and increase the speed of need during any job loss transition event?

“On Fri, Mar 30, 2018, at 6:19 PM, Wray, Curtis <curtis.wray@vec.virginia.gov> wrote:</curtis.wray@vec.virginia.gov>

“Recap – Regional (Employer’s Name Redacted) Rapid Response Manager’s Meeting -2018

Greetings All:

The following is a recap of the subject meetings conducted March 27 and 29, 2018. First, thank you for allowing the collective workforce system participation and assistance in this impending transition, which has a significant impact in southeast Virginia. Many thanks to the Rapid Response Team for your professional and well-prepared presentations.

The intent of the subject meetings was to provide the employer with the most updated knowledge and information to enable them to make informed decisions on how to proceed and develop strategies to best help those affected by their closure, get back to work as quickly as possible.

The meetings also allowed us, the workforce system, to develop a very clear and unambiguous picture of what the actual layoff and closure will look like, and the phased aspect of it as we move forward with the planning of this significant event.

There are 17 stores without buyers or unsold and 21 stores with buyers. It is difficult to ascertain the impact until the purchasing is completed, and rebranding process starts.
Rapid Response will approach the impacted employees in a two-fold strategy of Enhanced Holistic Rapid Reemployment focusing on the 17 stores without buyers first. For each store, we shall distribute and collect a Rapid Response Needs survey questionnaire to justify and substantiate additional requests for funding and strategies to provide follow-on services. For each store, we shall provide Rapid Response Employee Briefings (RREBs) so that impacted employees will be apprised and can make informed decisions on how to proceed in their transition.

Additionally, for each store, there will be a workforce system eightfold assessment on impacted employees who connect with the workforce system. They are as follows (1) A Job Ready/Job Matching Assessment – to identify those who want to remain in their current field or have significant transferrable skill to attain employment quickly for a successful job marriage; (2). Trade Act Assessment for enhanced services based on foreign involvement or competition; (3) A Hiring Event Assessment to provide optimum opportunity for impacted employees to meet face-to-face with employers who are hiring; (4) A Workshop Assessment – based on the results of the Needs Survey Questionnaire to ascertain who may need workshops such as resume writing, interviewing techniques training, etc.; (5) A Training Assessment to see if each employee requires training, skilling-up, certifications and/or re-certifications, etc.; (6) A Veteran Assessment – to identify all veterans at the stores and ascertain and assist those with barriers; (7) A Supportive Needs Assessment – to ascertain if impacted employees require additional services such as Social Services or Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services as a stop-gap while in transition; and, (8) A Healthcare Assessment and referral to make sure those impacted are aware of Enroll Virginia and the impact and ability to purchase health insurance in the marketplace.
The Hiring Events on the Peninsula are being coordinated by Peninsula Work Link One Stop Center and the Virginia Employment Commission, Hampton Local Office, and on the southside, Hampton Roads, by Opportunity Inc. One Stop Center and the Virginia Employment Commission, Norfolk Local Office.

Business Services Team Coordinators will work with Economic Development Directorates on business attraction, retention, and expansion that may need the skillsets of the impacted employees. More to follow on this, for a meeting of all regional economic development directorates impacted by this layoff.

Please inform your staff.

For the SEVA Rapid Response Team: I will keep you apprised of events as they unfold and are confirmed.

Thank you,

Curtis Wray,
SEVA Rapid Response Regional Coordinator”

FEED THE NEED (2012)

The Feeder Input/Output model simply displayed and demonstrated how an effective Rapid Response program through proactive engagement (2008), and sustained connections, addresses or feeds the needs (2012) of the impacted affected employer and employees as a group and subsequently as an individual. It is simply explained this way: Through engagement and education (knowledge), the knowledge gateway (2010), and need-based assessment, Rapid Response feeds the impacted/affected dislocated employee to the American Job/One Stop Center. Once at the Center, the need-based assessments are connected to viable needs-based workforce partners under the auspices and direction of the Center and should determine and address (feed) the needs of the dislocated worker via specific individual customized packages while they are in a dislocated worker status in transition (customized transitions) to make them whole again, employable, and therefore, work ready. The (now) work-ready dislocated worker, feeds or satisfies the need of the business or employer requiring their talent, knowledge, skills, and abilities…a collective win for the Rapid Response program, the workforce system, impacted/affected employee, and the employer/business needing the talent. The model is interchangeable with any viable or relevant needs-based partner or organization. The holistic assessment increases the speed of need for talent service delivery to businesses and employers.

From 2018 through 2020, to get the word out about Enhanced Holistic Rapid Reemployment and the whole person concept (discussed in detail later), before the official stand-down due to the COVID-19 pandemic in March of 2020, in 2019, I went on a roadshow with the Virginia Employment Commission – Rapid Response Program Manager and an Economist from the Labor Market Information (LMI) Department throughout southeast and eastern Virginia spreading the word that included LMI and how assessments should look holistically at the impacted/affected transition as a whole group and individually the whole person, in customized transitions, (The Virginia Employment Commission Employee Connections Spotlight Newsletter: Rapid Response and Economic Information and Analytics Road Show, January 2019).

(3) ABRAHAM MASLOW’S HIERARCHY OF NEEDS (1943) (Introduced into Rapid Response in 2013)

As I evolved in Rapid Response coordination, in 2013, I took the approach of conceptualizing, applying, and inculcating Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs into Rapid Response. It is a motivational theory based on transitioning through different levels of needs in life that I had first heard of and learned, while attending Wingate College (now University) in 1975, many years ago, and never forgot. I used it as an analogy in understanding how people impacted by a job loss transition event are motivated and eventually transition and progress back to reemployment. I started making it part of my verbal PowerPoint presentations in 2013, and published the concept in Rapid Response, in my blog about transitioning service member (TSM) veterans called Veteran Triangle for Success: Impassioned Engagement written in October 2013 and published in March 2014 on National Association of Workforce Boards (NAWB) website. I would later introduce and use the analogy in my blogs The Rapid Response Transition Triangle for Employment Success, September 2014, and The Triangle of Engagement for Success, September 2017 depicting how a veteran transitioning service member (TSM) and/or dislocated worker goes through a career pathway of success with each person being a whole or complete individual unit progressing through life on a journey to achieve educational, training, and employment success. There are different roads to be taken and different roads to get to the same place.

According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs – the triangle of success in reemployment is analogous or likened to going up a flight of stairs by having steps of foundational/basic needs and eventually morphing into growth or aspiring needs, which drives us as human beings that must be addressed and reasonably met creating or forming a triangle. I called this “a triangle of needs” (2013). One cannot get to the top of the triangle or top step of success without stepping on the bottom steps creating a foundation of having basic physiological, safety, security, psychological, and emotional needs reasonably met. “One must (reasonably) satisfy lower-level basic needs before progressing on to meet higher-level growth needs. Once these needs have been reasonably satisfied, one may be able to reach the highest level called self-actualization. It is based on the belief that every person is capable and has the desire to move up the hierarchy toward a level of self-actualization. Unfortunately, progress is often disrupted by failure to meet lower-level needs. Life experiences including divorce and loss of job may cause an individual to fluctuate between work levels of the hierarchy” (Saul McLeod, June 2023).

(4) MEETING PEOPLE WHERE THEY ARE… IN LIFE (2014)

Again, the phrase “meeting people where they are” and the “the whole person concept” have recently gained traction and discussion and are often misunderstood and misused.  However, I am the only person in America that can link and explain these terms into a salient and cogent narrative initiative together, because quite simply, I created and have and had the vision for them.  In my vision, the two phrases or terms complement, work in tandem with each other, and are inextricably linked. As stated earlier in this blog, life is not static; it does not stand still; it is always in constant transition. As we are ever evolving, growing, and transitioning, we inherently end up in different places, junctures, paces, and journeys in life, so our needs change over time as we morph, develop, grow, and change. So, applying this concept to the trauma of a job loss transition, the goal is to become whole again by attaining rapid reemployment. To achieve this goal, we may have to look at the whole life of the person based on where they are now and not just one aspect of their life. We must look at the whole person based on where the impacted/affected employee is currently and where they aspire or want to go and how they want to get there in transition.

Let’s examine the phrase or term “meeting people where they are in life.” I created the term in Rapid Response ten years ago (in 2013) while describing the term deficit training (discussed later), which I used and described in the blog – Veteran Triangle for Success: Impassioned Engagement, October 2013, which tracked a dislocated worker transitioning service member’s (TSM) plight in not having his or her education and experience wholly recognized in aspiring to attain a certification after being discharged from military service. In March 2014, I was a Quick Shop presenter, at the National Association of Workforce Boards Conference where I provided a synthesized synopsis handout overview of my blog Veteran Triangle for Success: Impassioned Engagement for discussion. In that handout and discussion, I first introduced the phrase or term “meeting the person where he or she is.” I would use the term and publish it six months later in the blog The Rapid Response Transition Triangle for Employment Success, September 2014 in the Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce newsletter, the Chamber Review. In that blog, I expressly said the following: “Additionally, programs and processes, and organizations should feed the effort…meeting the person in transition where he or she is; and, after a needs assessment, train only to the required skill deficits.”

Hence, from my vantage point, the phrase or term is often misused, and therefore, requires some discussion, comprehension, and understanding, because I have seen and heard numerous misapplications based on my intent of usage. Most people interpret and apply the phrase in a physical sense, such as going to a physical site or location in a tangible sense as something that one can touch and feel. And it may mean that within a particular circumstance of need assessment. I expounded upon this theory and provided clarity in my blog The Triangle of Engagement for Success, September 2017, of which I expressly said: “Feeder input is based on meeting people (the impacted employee/dislocated worker) where they are in life. And, to clarify, meeting people where they are does not mean going to where they, the impacted employer/business and employees are physically located. Meeting people where they are is an assessment of skillsets by one stop centers and educational training feeders to ascertain impacted employees’ deficits in training.

The term, however, means much more than that in an introspective intangible sense. The genesis of the term came from the term customized transition…in that in Rapid Response,100 people can be impacted by a job loss transition event and they all could be at different places and junctures in life. So, the information, knowledge, and education provided by the workforce system may or will hit or impact each impacted/affected worker differently based on where they are in life. For example, my son and I may work at the same company and we both receive notice of a layoff. Workforce knowledge, awareness, assessment, and education programs will impact us differently because we are at different places and seasons in life. My son is ascending and aspiring in his work life. I would/could be descending and nearing retirement in my work life. So, in an intangible sense, the workforce system’s knowledge and service programs would or may mentally impact us differently. This is why impacted/affected employees must be met where they are in life in understanding their mindset and what motivates them based on need assessment, (The Rapid Response Transition Triangle for Employment Success, September 2014), because individually, he or she will take specific and different paths (customized transitions/directions) to get to the goal of reemployment as quickly as possible, if that is their goal.

Further, two people can have the same aspirations but can be in different and divergent places and paths in life, so they should be met there…where they are and not broad-brushed or reinvented. The challenge is the workforce system cannot be static and rigid and must be flexible and malleable enough to give deference to both in assessments and not paint everyone with a broad brush…as though one size fits all. For example: Two people may want or aspire to attain a certification as a marine electrician; one spent 20 years in the Navy doing the job and the other one just graduated from high school. As you can see, they are in different places in life, so their customized paths to attainment (customized transitions based on needs) should be different. In recently researching this, I found a blog by Tom Epperson, entitled “Meet Them Where They Are, December 2013″. Even though his blog focuses on leadership, I found the following statement complementary, compelling, and striking. “Meeting people where they are is about giving others what they need when they need it. As people grow their needs change. How we support their development should as well.” Experientially, I have validated this statement in my work as a Rapid Response Coordinator and came to the same conclusion as an impassioned practitioner over seventeen years. So, in an intangible sense, the true fundamental essence of understanding the phrase is in the art of holistic assessment in creating individually customized transition pathways for individual success. Again, this is an ever-evolving challenge for the workforce system. The term meeting people where they are in life works in tandem with the concept of deficit training. The two are also inextricably linked.

(5) DEFICIT TRAINING (2013)

I believe that a focus on specific deficit training meets a person where they are in life. Therefore, in my vision when I used the terms or phrases meet people where they are, deficit training, and the whole person concept they are connected and bound together as a synergy of effort as one. The concept of deficit training came out of an active listening and attentive conversation that I never forgot in 2011, while employed with then Thomas Nelson Community College (now Virginia Peninsula Community College) with a retired United States Navy Chief Petty Officer who had spent over 20 years in the Navy as a marine electrician. When he retired and went to a Community College to get training and a certification, in his words to the effect, they basically wanted him to start the training process as though he were a beginner, a neophyte…not recognizing any of his acquired experiential credentials. The Navy Chief felt devalued and disrespected and did not register for the training, because he could have taught the course based on his Navy training and experience, and in his opinion, the process wasted his time and diminished his self-esteem and self-worth. He merely needed the certification to become employable and whole again, only if they looked at the whole person.

Since 2016, Community Colleges in Virginia have short-term training (2009) programs, and they provide credit for experiential and prior learning which shortens and truncates the timeline, (time is a precious commodity) and career path toward rapid reemployment. Each person in transition should have a customized transition plan, where his or her knowledge, skills, and abilities are assessed in detail where they are in life. Upon concluding the assessment, they should not be saturated or broad-brushed with a customized training program and put on a journey with superfluous or unneeded education and training for visualized optics that merely checks a box, but instead, should narrowly focus on the specific deficit or deficiency to make the person whole again meeting the person where they are in life (Veteran Triangle for Success: Impassioned Engagement, October 2013, The Rapid Response Transition Triangle for Employment Success, September 2014, and The Triangle of Engagement for Success, September 2017). If a person has 95 % of the knowledge, skills, and abilities, then he or she only has a deficit of 5% to become whole again and reemployed and you are meeting the person where they are in life. In The Rapid Response Transition Triangle for Employment Success, September 2014, I expressly said “Skill deficit training provides a focus, specificity, saves time, valuable fiscal resources, and recognizes experience and prior learning.”

Job Loss Inherent Deficits (2013)

Again, most impacted/affected employees think when they are in or experiencing a job loss transition event that the job loss is only about one aspect or thing…and that is…how and when they receive unemployment insurance benefits; however, they are not realizing that due to the job loss transition, that they are now not “job ready.” They may be in a training deficit or deficiency situation inherently because of the job loss transition and not realizing it.

Example One – Person A is facing an impending job loss transition. The person has been working at Company X for 30 years. When they started working for the company, the job did not require a high school diploma or general educational development (GED) equivalency. Once they are unemployed, however, every job they now apply for requires a high school diploma or GED. Upon being unemployed, Person A is not job-ready. Layoff Aversion or Rapid Reemployment strategies cannot work effectively until the deficit/need is addressed. Person A is unemployable, but this is not known or discovered from the Rapid Response employee needs assessment survey questionnaire (discussed later) unless significant aggregate numbers of respondents indicate that they do not have a high school diploma. It is discovered only when the impacted/affected employee chooses not to self-disqualify (2017) and contacts the American Job/One Stop Center, where need assessed adult literacy programs can help them attain a high school diploma equivalency, and on the road, to becoming whole again.

Example Two – Person B is facing an impending job loss transition. He or she has a job where they are proficient in the usage of the Microsoft Suite. They can do the job and even teach a class, but they do not have a Microsoft Suite certification. Again, Layoff Aversion or Rapid Reemployment initiatives cannot effectively work until the deficit/training need is addressed. Person B is unemployable, but this is not known or discovered from the Rapid Response employee needs assessment survey questionnaire unless significant aggregate numbers of respondents indicate that they have a need for the Microsoft Suite certification. It is discovered only if the impacted/affected employee chooses not to self-disqualify and contacts the American Job/One Stop Center where training provides them a certification to make them more employable. In both scenarios, A and B, for in-field Layoff Aversion and Rapid Reemployment to optimally work and be effective would require early warning/notification, job loss event protraction, early involvement, early education, and outreach of the American Job/One Stop Center in Rapid Response Manger’s Meetings and Employee Briefings that educate about available supportive services and resources.

The problem with the current methodology within the workforce system is that we lose valuable time and work against the speed of need, and the impacted/affected employee may choose to self-direct and self-disqualify and not connect to the workforce system because they are unaware of workshops, training, and supportive services program efforts and assistance. In both scenarios, A and B, within the workforce system, the need for these services will not be addressed until the impacted/affected employee makes a connection with the American Job/One Stop Center. This is why Rapid Response connection as a front-end connection in ongoing awareness and knowledge is vital in the education of the impacted/affected employer and employee about available customized services, to prevent self-disqualification and disconnection. To further help ameliorate this process, it is my recommendation that the the Rapid Response Transition Survey Assessment (example of a transition needs survey) and the American Job Center/One Stop Center Needs Assessment be merged into one comprehensive survey document provided at Rapid Response Manager’s Meetings (2011) for customization input and the survey taken at Rapid Response Employee Briefings (2011) by the impacted/affected employees and the information cross-shared. In doing this, the American Job/One Stop Center would be apprised early in the process (increasing the speed of need) and know the plight and could reach out to the impacted/affected employee earlier, developing a timeline of meeting the impacted/affected employee where they are in a tangible, intangible, and training sense. To ensure consistency, this comprehensive survey instrument would be approved for usage throughout the entire Commonwealth in a group and individual analysis format. Again, this would save valuable time and increase the speed of need for the employer requiring a particular skill set in allowing Layoff Aversion and Rapid Reemployment strategies to work optimally and effectively.

(6) THE WHOLE PERSON CONCEPT (2014)

The term or phrase the whole person concept (2014) or approach is not a new term for me, for it morphed in writing from and is a subset of the aforementioned term holistic, as it separates and depicts an individual or “whole person” in transition from the group, with needs that have to assessed, addressed, customized, and reasonably met while in transition via the American Job/One Stop Center and viable interchangeable relevant need-based workforce partners. It invokes or is the impetus for a holistic assessment of the impacted/affected employee based on where they are in life. This concept came together to me as an epiphany of thought in two instances. The first was having the humility to work the counter and take unemployment insurance claims and understand at the grassroots level from the bottom up, what motivates people in job loss transition events. Most affected/impacted employees are only concerned about receiving unemployment insurance benefits and are not aware of other services such as training and betterment funding and workshops that could assist in making them whole again. I would say that 90 – 95 percent of all local office visits have to do with unemployment insurance questions and initiatives. Second, on June 17, 2014, as a Rapid Response Coordinator, I created and emceed a presentation called A Speaker’s Forum: A Passion to Serve, a Rapid Response program that focused on military veteran initiatives based on my blog Veteran Triangle for Success: Impassioned Engagement in 2013.  I had personally invited Admiral John Harvey, the Virginia Secretary of Veteran and Defense Affairs as the keynote speaker for this event. In my recapped minutes of his speech, I noted, and it struck me when he was talking about veteran initiatives, he expressly verbally said “A transition affects the whole family and is not just about one person” (Recap A Passion to Serve Meeting Minutes, June 2014). Being a military retiree who had transitioned a few times and had endured numerous major deployments in the Navy, I was struck by that statement and knew inherently that this statement was both true and profound in a military career context enduring many transitions. I extrapolated his usage to a Rapid Response and workforce system application in that a job loss transition event is not just about collecting unemployment insurance, but also training, educational, and supportive services that impact the whole person, which may include aspects of his or her family such as childcare, education, or transportation needs when attempting to attain reemployment as quickly as possible.

As previously stated in my introduction, in my approach, the whole person concept is the final transitional phase (apex) of the triangle of needs in customized transitions (discussed earlier). It is a term that I have frequently used and briefed in verbal presentations since 2014. In October 2019, I started writing the blog The 2EX Concept in Rapid Response Service Delivery, April 2020, and referenced the embracing and use of the whole person concept. Additionally, I put the actual words in PowerPoint presentations since 2020 after the COVID-19 announcement as depicted below when I went to a virtual presentation format as opposed to verbal presentation at an on-site event.

 

My workforce colleagues will truthfully tell you they have heard me say many or countless times over the last ten years in presentations and discussions and Rapid Response Manager’s Meetings and Employee informational sessions, words to the effect, that “the layoff or transition is more than just about knowing how to file and collect unemployment insurance. It is about the opportunity to look at the whole person for them to have success. What are your needs to become complete or whole again?” The whole person concept has a foundation based firmly in Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, again, which I introduced into Rapid Response in 2013 and expounded upon in 2017 in the blog The Triangle of Engagement for Success, September 2017.

In numerous presentations and briefings, I would expressly say: “It is very difficult to talk to a person about taking a training class, after losing their job, when they are worried about the basic needs of survival…keeping the lights on and the water running and a roof over their heads. Aspirations do not mean anything to a person trying to survive by merely acquiring basic needs. We must look at the whole person.”  Again, what are your needs? Are you safe? Do you have food, water, shelter, transportation, basic needs? This aspect is very important to understand in the art of assessing the dislocated worker because again, many dislocated workers self-disqualify and disconnect themselves from the workforce system based on not having the applicable knowledge and being educated about services that can help them, thereby having the perception that their needs will not or cannot be addressed and/or reasonably met based on their own individual circumstances.

This is why parallel alignment (2016) with Rapid Response and understanding of the awareness doctrine (2008) which was articulated in September 2009 in an email to the Virginia Community College System office chain of command, entitled Community College Workforce Development RResponse, and wholly explained in concept in the blog Becoming the Consummate Transitioner-New Way of Thinking for Job Searchers, October 2009; was expounded upon in Layoff Aversion: Get Your Mind Right, June 2012 by metaphorically introducing the “magnet on the refrigerator” example and in The Triangle of Engagement for Success, September 2017, is fundamentally important. The awareness doctrine is inextricably tied to proactive engagement (2008) in Rapid Response. The awareness doctrine is a simple jingle that I created, which simply means: “Knowledge equals Awareness and Awareness equals Connection.”  For example: People normally do not go to the movies to find out what is playing at the movies. They go to the movies because they have knowledge and are aware of what is playing at the movies and want to see the movie that has piqued their interest (the connection). So, we must diminish “knowledge deficits” (2008) whenever and wherever possible (Layoff Aversion: Get Your Mind Right). Knowledge deficits are an inherent part of Triangle Engagement (2013), the impacted/affected employer, business/employer, and workforce system partners. Planned and unplanned transition continuously occurs within the workforce system. Knowledge is perishable and eventually, it literally walks out the door. So, we must continuously engage in Triangle Engagement prior to the job loss event to make the Triangle participants aware of workforce services in order to have reciprocity for future connection by having a vibrant, robust, and efficient frontend engagement strategy (the magnet on the refrigerator).

UNDERSTANDING THE DISLOCATED WORKER MOTIVATION AND MINDSET TRAJECTORY (2007-2013)

To understand the triangle of needs in customized services and transitions and to fully understand the needs of a dislocated worker, one must first understand what motivates and drives a dislocated worker. As a devoted and impassioned practitioner who has done the fieldwork for seventeen years, experientially and not empirically through research, the following eleven points are expressly submitted as germane to dislocated worker motivation and mindset:

(1) The Dislocated Worker Status (2007) – is defined quite simply in layman’s terms – is losing one’s job through no fault of your own or what I call the “no-fault” criteria (2007). It is a separation (due to a lack of work) and is a job loss transition that is employer-initiated and not employee-initiated in that the employee did not voluntarily quit or was not discharged (fired) for misconduct. To attain the dislocated worker status, the impacted/affected employee must stay to their assigned terminal date. In reaching this terminal date, they attain a dislocated worker status. There are no eligibility criteria such as a certain family size or having made a certain amount of money. Losing one’s job through no-fault of their own provides and confirms the dislocated worker status. Upon attaining, protecting, and maintaining this dislocated worker status, the dislocated worker is automatically eligible for unemployment insurance, free seminars, workshops, viable and relevant programs under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), and workforce partner connections and initiatives. Employment separation adjudication is not required. The key to understanding this concept is to understand that being a dislocated worker and collecting unemployment insurance are inextricably linked. One cannot exist without the other.

(2) Triangle of Supportive Service’s Needs (2013) – This is the single most important aspect of understanding the dislocated worker’s mindset to place them on a genuine pathway to recovery. In understanding supportive service’s needs, the aim is to prevent dislocated workers from self-disqualifying and not connecting with the workforce system based on their individual circumstances. Each individual impacted/affected employee will have its own triangle of supportive service’s needs. Considering Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, we must look at the “whole person, meeting them where they are in life.” What are the needs across the triangle of needs continuum that require addressing? Are there transportation, childcare, language, training, adult literacy, food, veteran, or shelter needs that require addressing? Assessing and addressing these needs meets the person where they are in life because we are all at different junctures and places in life and it puts them on a pathway toward upward mobility and reemployment, increasing the speed of need. Per Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the impacted/affected employee will not be motivated and inspired to aspire to move up until all basic foundational needs are reasonably accessed, addressed, and met. The problem is that Layoff Aversion and Rapid Reemployment programs and initiatives assume a skilled workforce that is job-ready, and this may not be the case.

(3) A Triangle Collapse (2013) – based on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, symbolically when a person is in a job loss transition or experiences need trauma, a portion of their success triangle collapses (“fluctuates”) because of the need to have income to be able to survive and thrive are both elements of Maslow’s safety and security needs. Hence, the lack of employment is a safety and security need and collapses a portion of a person’s mental and actual triangle of needs (2013). A viable path to reemployment repairs the need triangle and will make the person whole again.

(4) The Triangle Flips (2013) – normally experienced in Disaster Rapid Response such as a catastrophic fire, hurricane, tornado, or earthquake. This term was first explained in my blog Disaster Rapid Response: When the Triangle Flips, September 2017 on the Thomas Nelson Community College website. It is symbolic and conceptualizes the catastrophic failure of the triangle of needs to the point where it completely collapses and flips upside-down when a person instantaneously loses everything…the house, car, job, etc. It is a dire situation where growth needs and individual successes and accomplishments are no longer important or matter to the impacted or affected individual, but the lower foundational basic needs of survival…acquiring water, food, shelter, safety, warmth, rest, security, and money do. The recent “fire hurricane” in Maui, Hawaii, on August 8, 2023, is a wholly demonstrative example of when a person’s needs triangle flips.

(5) Dislocated Worker a Different Kind of Worker (2011) – Understanding Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs helps us understand motivation and why a dislocated worker is a different kind of worker (The Triangle of Employment for Success, September 2017). The average dislocated worker has been in the workforce for over 10 years, and they have attained assets (real and personal) property, houses/mortgages, monthly bill installments and utilities, cars, car payments, college tuition, etc.) that they are trying to keep and protect; and the only option, is to continue working to attain, maintain, and keep assets. Said another way, dislocated workers are motivated to keep their personal needs triangle from collapsing and intact; or if it collapses, they are primed to use Rapid Reemployment, to quickly attain employment to repair their personal needs triangle as soon as possible. No reasonable person wants to acquire assets and then lose them because of a job loss transition event. This is why early connection to the Rapid Response Program is in fact the key to asset protection.

(6) Asset Protection – (2010) – It is the protection of assets that drives the dislocated worker to adult career pathways and rapid reemployment. However again, the employer must know about these services via the awareness doctrine, prior to the requirement of a job loss transition event to ensure future involvement of the Rapid Response program to protect assets as expressly articulated in Becoming the Consummate Transitioner – New Way of Thinking for Job Searchers. The Rapid Response program has the potential to connect the dislocated worker to the workforce system that provides a knowledge gateway (2010) to get back to work as quickly as possible, which is what the dislocated worker aspires to do. Again, strategically, early front-end involvement in Rapid Response is in fact, asset protection (The Triangle of Engagement for Success, September 2017). Further, the Trade Act program is an enhanced service that can assist in income maintenance and asset protection strategy by potentially lengthening unemployment insurance collection timeframe, training dollars, and the like. The Trade Act program could also play an integral part in front-end awareness outreach programs, so if required, it may be inculcated into a viable asset protection strategy.

(7) Time Is A Precious Commodity (In usage 2011) – because the dislocated worker cannot afford not to work, nor can they equally afford to sit in a classroom for a significant period of time (greater than six months) to get a certification or degree, when they are concerned about protecting assets, and having safety and security needs met, by keeping the lights on and the water running (Maslow’s safety and security needs) They must get back to work as quickly as possible to repair their collapsed needs triangle to become whole again.

(8) Short-Term Training (2009) – The term came from active listening and empathy in hearing many dislocated workers during the economic downturn of 2008-09, say words to the effect that they cannot afford to sit in a classroom taking a course when they have a mortgage and bills to pay. I expounded upon this concept in The Triangle of Engagement for Success, September 2017. My definition was that short-term training is the pursuit of knowledge, education, or training that is less than six months on a timeline to make the impacted/affected worker more employable, whole again, and on a successful path toward reemployment. Short-term training programs can and should be aligned with the financial and income maintenance strategy of unemployment insurance, which normally lasts six months, in tandem with any severance pay, and part-time employment for the impacted/affected worker to see a viable pathway to attain the training and/or certification for Rapid Reemployment.

(9) Rapid Reemployment (2011) – As previously stated, the dislocated worker wants to become trained and more employable and get back to work as quickly as possible to protect and to continue to acquire assets, repair their needs triangle, and become whole again. I had used the term Rapid Reemployment in other workforce venues in Rapid Response. In my vision, Rapid Reemployment is a term that I used to cover a gapped period in Layoff Aversion. The Department of Labor’s Training and Employment Guidance Letter (TEGL) 30-09, defines Layoff Aversion as “when a worker’s job is saved with the existing employer that is at risk of downsizing or closing; or a worker at risk of dislocation, transitions to a different job with the same employer or a new job with a different employer and experiences no, or a minimal spell of unemployment.” Definition-wise, the TEGL creates a conundrum. The definition of aversion means to “avoid a thing or a situation,” (The Oxford Dictionary, May 2023). If one reaches their terminal transition date and is not back to work, then they are in a job loss transition event and did not avert the layoff. That said, as a subset and employment strategy within Layoff Aversion, I use the term Rapid Reemployment to cover the person within the Layoff Aversion umbrella, when it states or refers to a “minimal spell of unemployment.” What does a minimal spell of time unemployed mean? I have not been able to get an answer to the question, but I would professionally say a period after being unemployed is not greater than three weeks. In my opinion, this approach would fall in line with the Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessment (RESEA) program mandates and requirements. If an impacted/affected employee reaches their terminal date, optimally, the epitome and best example of Rapid Reemployment is having a terminal date or a job loss transition date on Friday, and back to work and being reemployed on Monday. However, it is easier said than done or completed; for, there is a lot of work that goes into making this initiative a success.

(10) Experiential and Prior Learning (2013) – respects the background, prior education, experience, and most importantly, the self-esteem of the transitioning dislocated impacted/affected employee moving from one career to another. This is especially true for the dislocated worker-transitioning service member (TSM) veteran. It allows for the individual assessment of each individual client based on where they are in life (previously explained) as opposed to reinventing them with the stroke of a broad brush or one-size-fits-all in customized transition training packages. Equally, it allows for the explicit use of deficit training to make the person whole again and on the pathway to reemployment success, (Veteran Triangle for Success: Impassioned Engagement, March 2014 and The Triangle of Employment for Success, September 2017).

(11) Condensed/Truncated Career Pathway (2013) – knowledge and consideration of the 10 previously mentioned points, which considers how a dislocated worker thinks, is motivated, and acts, shortens the career pathway and training timeline (“time is a precious commodity”) in focusing on specific needs, thereby placing the dislocated worker on a relevant and viable trajectory for success in achieving Rapid Reemployment.

UNDERSTANDING ONENESS (A System Operating as One)

The six previously mentioned tenants  (1) customized transitions (2010), (2) enhanced holistic rapid reemployment (2018) the same as the feeder input/output model (2012), (3) Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs -1943 (introduced into Rapid Response in 2013), (4) deficit training or training to the deficit (2013), (5) meeting people where they are in life (2013), and (6) the whole person concept or approach fall under a menagerie of oneness. I have had the vision of oneness for a while now, at a time when no one knew what I was talking about. Oneness defined is “the fact or state of being unified or whole, though comprised of two or more parts.” (Oxford Dictionary, August 2023). Oneness is the true essence and epitome of exceptional teamwork. Being an ex-military enlistee and commissioned officer, I fully understand the concept of jointness. To me, oneness is synonymous with jointness. Jointness in the military is the quality or state of involving two or more military services under the Department of Defense (Army, Navy, Airforce, Marines, etc.) to complete a mission, objective, or task. The military intangibly understands oneness by jointness. It is an innate part of the strategic, operational, and tactical nature, character, and culture of the armed services.

I note that the concept of one workforce system now has gained national prominence, but the voices of recognition and attribution run silent in noting my vision and voice in initially espousing a system of one many years before in 2015. I believe my vision gave weight and impetus to the creation of the term one workforce system.  I find revel and satisfaction in the fact that I am imitated shows relevance and legitimacy in my position and vision. In my blog The Triangle of Engagement for Success, September 2017, I espoused triangle engagement and at the end of the blog provided twenty-seven points leading to operating as a system of one or oneness. I recommend that you read or review those 27 points. They are still germane today as when written in 2017. Four of those points exclusively and expressly focused on creating a holistic system of one. Point 1. “Since the creation of the term “Triangle of Engagement for Success” in 2013, I prefer not to use the term business engagement; for, it sends and implies a singular optic and focus on engagement as strictly for the business. To have optimum success, it requires a simultaneous “Triangle of Engagement,” operating and forging tactical, operational, and strategic end states from the business/employer, impacted employees and workforce system partners, in a holistic synergy of effort of one.”  Point 4, “The voices of the business/employer, impacted employee and workforce system partners should all be as one, inextricably linked, toward a common purpose.”  Point 7, “The workforce system is the educational system, and the educational system is the workforce system; one entity… inextricably linked.  And point 8, “Workforce development is economic development and economic development is workforce development”…one entity inextricably linkedSo, it is evident and clear that my position on a system of one is unambiguously clear and substantiated as having merit.

So…what does one workforce system actually look like? What is its core mission and vision statement? If you do not have the innate vision of the genesis and end state of the concept, then it becomes merely something very easy to say, copy, and imitate, a good sound bite and flowery words, but very difficult to comprehend and bring to fruition, because the complexities and nuances of the vision are not fully understood, but merely parroted for effect and tantamount to herding cats.  At this moment in time, however, I still confidently proclaim and portend six years later after writing the blog The Triangle of Engagement for Success, September 2017,  that the only way to envision and bring to full fruition the holistic concept of one system within workforce is to fully embrace four concepts…(1) frontend triangle engagement, (2) increasing the speed of need, (3) comprehending and operating in parallel alignment, and (4) changing the current culture.  Triangle engagement will provide sustainability in connection and reciprocity in effort based on continuous planned and unintended transition within the workforce system, and it will mitigate and increase the speed of need in providing talent to the employer with a talent need.  Parallel alignment optimizes and epitomizes the concept of oneness and teamwork. A culture change must be believed, lived, exampled, and espoused at the strategic, operational, and tactical levels of management and if you expend a significant amount of funds and make significant changes and do not address the culture, then the efforts are equivalent to “the same ole soup but a different day.” You cannot have organizational oneness within the workforce system without these four pillars working in tandem as a synergistic effort as one entity.

THE SPEED OF NEED (2015)

This concept of the speed of need came to me after hearing from an employer as a presenter at a local Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) conference in 2015 espousing and projecting that workforce system policies, methodologies, processes, and procedures are too slow and burdensome for an employer responding to demand-driven changes. It is a known and undeniable fact that governmental workforce systems do not operate at the speed of business. They are ladened or burdened with bureaucracy and specific processes, policies, and procedures that they must follow that may or work against in nature and character what is trying to be accomplished. For example, in-field operational Layoff Aversion is a front-end program that can increase the speed of need in providing qualified talent to the employer before or prior to a job loss transition event, if fully and wholly understood and used in the workforce system. Rapid Reemployment is a backend program that is designed to provide talent to the employer with needs after a job loss transition event has occurred. The problem is most people in the workforce system cannot knowledgeably articulate and tell you what each program does and how they can work to optimal efficiency to increase the speed of need, and in some cases again, their very actions may work against what is trying to be accomplished. How can the workforce system ameliorate this factual reality for mission betterment?

What further exacerbates this conundrum or problem is that employers often complain about needing qualified talent, however, because they are not knowledgeable and aware of the connection and benefits of the Rapid Response program, they will separate their workers into job loss transition events without notifying and involving Rapid Response, which is the knowledge gateway path to the workforce system. This unknowledgeable separation summarily disconnects the impacted/affected employee from the workforce system and wholly causes a loss of time in training and employability thereby decreasing the speed in providing trained and qualified talent to the employer with the need.  The impacted/affected employee could benefit and be trained for better employability and is unaware of the services that are available to help him or her. This is an inherent and ongoing conundrum within the workforce system because of constant turnover and transition of the employer and viable and relevant workforce system partners, where knowledge is perishable and lost. Consistent frontend proactive education by triangle engagement is the only viable solution to ameliorate this problem, because as articulated earlier, life is in constant transition.

Reemployment is the strategic end state of the Rapid Response program, which is to get the impacted/affected worker back to work as quickly as possible. Additionally, as stated earlier, Layoff Aversion and Rapid Reemployment are strategies that assume everyone seeking employment is work-ready when the fact is…everyone is not…as previously discussed in this blog. How quickly then, can Rapid Response coordination, American Job/One Stop Centers, and viable and relevant workforce partners continuously educate, respond to, and address customized group and individual transitional needs? How fast does the speed of government with all its burdensome policies, processes, procedures, and requirements are congruent, parallel aligned, and in lockstep with the needs of the employer and the impacted employee? Are workforce programs, processes, and procedures parallel aligned, and consistent and work together as one forward-moving entity as a synergy of effort and workforce of one, instead of multidirectional individual siloes, to ultimately move at the demand and speed of the impacted business/employer in addressing what they need? The speed of need determines how quickly the affected job loss group or individual impacted/affected employee with customized transitional needs can be assessed, addressed, and reasonably met to make the impacted/affected worker whole again and become a relevant talent asset to the employer with the fill requirement need. Again, this starts when viable and relevant need-based partners provide customized transition services to address each individual triangle of needs to reach their triangle of success. There is a converse relationship between the speed of need and rapid reemployment which seeks to meet the impacted/affected business/employer and employee where they are in life, by providing an umbrella of customized services to make them whole again as benefitting and contributing members of society.

Those workforce systems that will proactively engage and educate about services that it can provide will be optimally parallel aligned, consistent, and operate with high effectiveness, efficiency, and reciprocity in providing an umbrella of customized services in assessing and addressing group and individual customized transitional needs. They will have high rapid reemployment and the reciprocity of sustained relationships with the employer because they will be seen as value-added (2009) for future engagement and connection by the employer. We must be paralleled aligned and embrace and espouse a culture of connected-oneness to maximize and move at the speed of need to fulfill the needs of business as close to the speed of business as possible. Ultimately, the question is…how quickly can the workforce system respond and train talent to meet the strenuous and ever-changing demands of the employer? The effort must be strategic and transformational because this is not a static, but an ongoing future effort to be prepared to meet the strenuous and ever-evolving demands and requirements of constant and developing change.

PARALLEL ALIGNMENT (2016) (de-silo the mind) – The best way that I can visually describe parallel alignment in the workforce system is to refer to my experiences as a United States naval officer. As a surface ship unrestricted line officer, I had to take technical courses that led to my underway qualification of officer-of-the-deck, the person who is in charge and responsible to the captain of the ship, in the safe operations and navigation of the ship while underway. One such course and aid to navigation in the avoidance of ship collisions was the maneuvering board course. In the maneuvering board course, the ship’s vector (course and speed) was normally in the center of the maneuvering board, and radar bearings were taken of other approaching ships to determine their true course and speed based on relative motion. In determining the other ship’s course and speed (vector) will determine if your ship should maintain course and speed in accordance with at-sea rules of the road, or maneuver to avoid a collision. Once you determine the other ship’s course and speed and if your ship turned to the other ship’s course and speed in the appropriate time, speed, and at the appropriate distance, this is called paralleling…when two or more ships are abreast, heading in the same direction (course) at the same speed. When the paralleling ships slow and turn, they slow and turn together in the same direction and at the same speed paralleled aligned as one entity Workforce system parallel alignment to me is synonymous with ship paralleling. Parallel alignment of workforce systems would mean separate individual entities or systems (various agencies and entities) are aligned in culture – norms, beliefs, values, mission, vision, and direction (course) and speed (operational approach) and end state (objectives and goals), at the strategic, operational, and tactical levels of organizational management in oneness as one system to meet the demands of businesses/employers. As previously stated, the military uses the term jointness or joined together as one, in explaining how the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard can be separate and individual entities but come together as one system and synergy of effect to accomplish a mission or task.

THE VISION – ALL THE DOTS CONNECT

As I have said at the beginning of this document, I am the only person in America who can truthfully articulate this six-point strategy, because it has been an evolving vision in my mind that has been substantiated in fact over the course of time since 2005. The articulation of my vision makes all the dots connect. In Rapid Response, dislocated workers are a different kind of worker because they have assets that they are trying to protect. It is the protection of assets that ultimately drives the mindset and motivations of the dislocated worker. Success in employment/reemployment is a time, speed, and distance problem that the workforce system must become more flexible and malleable to address and accommodate in addressing parallel alignment and the speed of need in getting the impacted/affected worker back to work as quickly as possible. To ensure consistency and high quality in Rapid Response, no matter how large or expansive the job loss transition event, there should be an enhanced holistic process in rapid reemployment need assessment as a group and individual in the triangle of customizable service needs of the impacted/affected employer, employee and viable and relevant workforce system partners, primarily to ensure a knowledge gateway connection and to prevent self-disqualification of the impacted/affected employee.

Once impacted/affected employees make contact with the American Job/One Stop Center, based on the concept and motivational theory of Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, their apex needs are determined to create individually customized transitions, because each impacted/affected employee is on a separate journey to have their needs be individually assessed, and reasonably addressed and met…based on where they actually are in real life (meeting people where they are) looking at and assessing the whole person to address basic safety and security (supportive services) and growth and knowledge (training and educational) needs to ensure success. This provides a pathway of not just focusing on one aspect of one’s life such as unemployment insurance, which is a reactive mindset and event. After assessment, we should train only to deficiencies or deficits. This thought process and subsequent actions are inextricably linked, operate as a system of one, truncate or shorten the aspirational and career completion timeline, and save time and money on the journey and pathway toward rapid reemployment. I have just articulated and summarized the inculcation and holistic vision of the six-point strategy of (1) customized transitions (2010), (2) holistic rapid reemployment (2018) (feeder input/output model (2012), (3) Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs -1943 (introduced into Rapid Response in 2013), (4) deficit training or training to the deficit (2013), (5) meeting people where they are in life (2014), and (6) the whole person approach or concept 2014.

RECOMMENDATIONS

I hope you find this blog enlightening. I make the following 13 recommendations:

  1. Comprehend and embrace triangle education and engagement of the impacted employee, viable and relevant workforce partners, and the business/employer as articulated in this document (2013).
  2. Comprehend and embrace oneness and a system of one as articulated in this blog/document (2015).
  3. Comprehend and embrace addressing the speed of need in meeting the needs of impacted/affected businesses and employees as articulated in this blog/document (2015).
  4. Comprehend and embrace the concept of parallel alignment as articulated in this blog/document (2016).
  5. Comprehend and embrace the 11 points of the dislocated worker motivation and mindset trajectory framework in Rapid Response service delivery as articulated in this blog document (2011 – 2017).
  6. Comprehend and embrace the Whole Person concept or approach based on the motivational theory of Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs in Rapid Reemployment in providing supportive services in basic and growth needs to meet the impacted/affected employee where they are in life and the impacted/affected employer where they are in and on the peaks and valleys of the business cycle as articulated in this blog/document (2013 and 2014).
  7. Comprehend and embrace meeting people where they are in life and deficit training (inextricably linked) and supportive wraparound services. Training programs should train to the deficit and meet people where they are in training and educational initiatives. It truncates the pathway to success as articulated in this blog/document (2013 and 2014).
  8. Comprehend and embrace Workforce Assessment Programs that meet people where they are in life in both a tangible (physical), intangible (innate and subjective) sense, and in a training and supportive services perspective and context as articulated in this blog/document (2013).
  9. Embrace a statewide initiative in understanding that the lack of awareness and parallel alignment of workforce systems supportive service programs to the impacted/affected employee to assist in individual customized transitions, leads to impacted/affected employee self-disqualification and disconnection from the workforce system based on individual self-assessment of personal circumstances (2013).
  10. Comprehend and embrace that self-disqualification of the impacted/affected employee and lack of participation in front-end reemployment and proactive engagement awareness initiatives leads to the loss of untrained talent to fill vital positions in the needed workforce pool. Self-disqualification works against increasing and achieving a high speed of need. Additionally, as a by-product – lack of awareness and holistic participation leads to underperforming grants and continuously wasted austere funding and resources (2017).
  11. Comprehend the notion that American Job/One Stop Centers have grants and funding to assist in supportive services should develop a front-end outreach strategy in tandem with Rapid Response service delivery. Some Centers employ a backend strategy and want to strategically discuss and educate the impacted/affected dislocated employee about supportive services grant initiatives when and if they contact the Center or workforce system…taking the approach “I will tell you about the available services and programs when you come in.” Or the “if we build it, then they will come” approach. Understand that they (the impacted/affected employee) will not come if they are not educated and aware of the services prior to the job loss transition event. They will personally self-disqualify. Again, grants will underperform and fail, over-promising and under-delivering (2023).
  12. The Rapid Response Transition Survey Needs Assessment and the American Job Center/One Stop Center Need Assessment should be scrubbed and merged into one survey instrument and the information given one time at one transition event and cross-shared between the two entities in the form of an individual survey and an aggregate analysis report. The two surveys ask very similar questions, so merging the two avoids a repetitive and duplicative process. Also, in doing it this way, the American Job/One Stop Center would be apprised early and know the plight of the impacted/affected employee while still in and attached to the whole group as opposed to waiting for the employee to contact the workforce system in an individual customized transition. Therefore, they could reach out to the impacted/affected employee early…meeting them where they are in both a tangible, intangible, and training sense prior to the employees ever contacting the American Job Center. This would save valuable time and increase the speed of need for the employer requiring a particular skill set in allowing Layoff Aversion and Rapid Reemployment initiatives to optimally work. It is an opportune time to do this now that Rapid Response and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act funding streams are migrating and merging hopefully into one parallel aligned workforce system as an objective and end state (2023).
  13. Comprehend and embrace the Trade Act program to include a front-end proactive outreach strategy that may become part of an income maintenance and asset protection strategy prior to the job loss transition event. Adopting this strategy will help increase participation involvement and rates in the Trade Act program (2017).

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Braxton-Williams, Valarie. (January 2019). Unpublished – Virginia Employment Commission Newsletter – Employee spotlight: rapid response and economic information and analytics road show. Distributed to all employees within the employment commission.

Curtis Wray, (2018, March) Recap – Regional (employer’s name redacted) rapid response manager’s meeting. Virginia Employment Commission email. Introduced enhanced holistic rapid reemployment in Rapid Response service delivery.

Curtis Wray, (2014, August) Recap – a speaker’s forum – a passion to serve. Thomas Nelson Community College email. Sent minutes of the event/presentation highlights from Admiral John Harvey’s visit and speech on military veteran initiatives. Admiral Harvey stated: “A transition affects the whole family and is not just about one person.” Distributed to the public workforce system via email.

Curtis Wray, (2009, September). Re community college workforce development rresponse, Virginia Community College System email. Introduced the awareness doctrine to the Rapid Response chain of command via email.

Epperson, Tom. (2013) Meet them where they are, pdf. Website: innerwill.org.

McLeod, Saul. (2023). Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, pdf. A review and description of Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Website: simplypsychology.org and canadacollege.edu.

Oxford Dictionary. Defined aversion – “to avoid a thing or a situation.” May 2023. Website: oed.com.

Oxford Dictionary. Defined customize – “modify something to suit a particular individual or task.” May 2023. Website: oed.com.

Oxford Dictionary. Defined holistic – “characterized by the belief that the parts of something are interconnected and can be explained only by reference to the whole.” May 2023. Website: oed.com.

Oxford Dictionary. Defined oneness – “the fact or state of being unified or whole, though comprised of two or more parts.”  August 2023. Website: oed.com.

Oxford Dictionary. Defined transition – “the process or period of changing from one state or condition to another.” May 2023. Website: oed.com.

United States Department of Employment and Training Administration. Frequently asked questions: does rapid response services apply to United States territories such as Guam or Puerto Rico? June 2023. Website: dol.gov

United States Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration, pdf. Rapid response services (employer and employee). Defined rapid response. Described the customized services based on need. June 2023. Website: dol.gov.

United States Department of Labor Training and Administration. Training and employment guidance letter (TEGL) 30 – 09, pdf. Defined Layoff Aversion. June 2023. Website: dol.gov.

United States Department of Labor Employment Training and Administration. Training and employment notice (TEN) 31-11, pdf. The rapid response framework. Element 5: promoting the effectiveness of rapid response services; providing customized, collaborative solutions, and constant, quality results. Element 7: collecting and analyzing worker survey data. Element 9: collecting affected workers to the workforce system and one-stop career centers. May 2023. Website: dol.gov.

Wray, Curtis D. (2009). Becoming the consummate transitioner – new way of thinking for job searchers, pdf. Unpublished blog – rejected by publisher due to length. Introduced the awareness doctrine – proactive engagement, no-fault transitioner, job loss transition, diminishing knowledge deficits, lifelong learning, and the phrase “you don’t know what you don’t know.” Website: theconsummatetransitioner.com

Wray, Curtis D. (2010 – 2023). Old southeastern/eastern (SEVA) logo and mission statement. Unpublished – continuously used and distributed to the audience of business/employer Rapid Response Manager Meetings (RRMM), Rapid Response Employee Briefing (RREB) and awareness power point (ppt) presentations.

Wray, Curtis D. (2011). Southeastern/eastern (SEVA) rapid response service plan for Thomas Nelson Community College, pdf. Introduced the five phases of Rapid Response. Unpublished – distributed to the SEVA region workforce partners.

Wray, Curtis D. (2012). Layoff aversion: get your mind right, pdf. Introduced proactive engagement strategy, knowledge deficits, the magnet on the refrigerator, the awareness doctrine, backend and front-end rapid response, a phased initiative, and the early warning network. Website: theconsummatetransitioner.com.

Wray, Curtis D. (2013). Veteran triangle for success: impassioned engagement overview handout synopsis, pdf. Unpublished – Presenter at the National Association of Workforce Boards (NAWB) Quick Shop, March 31, 2014. First publicly introduced the terms meet people where they are and deficit training. Distributed handout presentation to the SEVA region audience via email. Website: theconsummatetransitioner.com.

Wray, Curtis D. (2014). Veteran triangle for success: impassioned engagement, pdf. First published the National Association of Workforce Boards (NAWB) website. Introduced deficit training and Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs in the Rapid Response program. Website: theconsummatetransitioner.com.

Wray, Curtis D. (2014) The rapid response transition triangle for employment success, pdf. First published in The Chamber Review e-newsletter of the Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce. Introduced the term meeting people where they are, feeder input/output model, and expounded upon deficit training. Website: theconsummatetransitioner.com.

Wray, Curtis D. (2015). Defined the word transitioner. Expounded on the terms transition and transitioner, pdf. Website: theconsummatetransitioner.com.

Wray, Curtis D. (2017). Culminating points of engagement and success, pdf. First published Thomas Nelson Community College website. Espoused a workforce system of one. Website: theconsummatetransitioner.com.

Wray, Curtis D. (2017). The triangle for employment success, pdf, First published on Thomas Nelson Community College website. Introduced the dislocated worker mindset – dislocated worker defined, dislocated worker status, feeder input/output model, expounded upon Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, triangle of supportive needs, asset protection, time a precious commodity, short-term training, deficit training, experiential and prior learning, condensed or truncated career paths. Expounded upon meeting people where they are – intangible with respect to training. Expounded upon a workforce of one. Website: theconsummatetransitioner.com.

Wray, Curtis D. (2017). Disaster rapid response: when the triangle flips, pdf. First published Thomas Nelson Community College website. Defined when the triangle collapses and flips. Website: theconsummatetransitioner.com.

Wray, Curtis D. (2017) Guest blogger, Workforce GPS Business Engagement Collaborative, Department of Labor. Stated that Rapid Response was more art than science. Website: workforcegps.org.

Wray, Curtis D. (2018 – 2023). An opportunity for awareness (power point (ppt) presentations). Unpublished – Used the slide Enhanced Holistic Rapid Reemployment Strategy in 25 PPT presentations to employers and workforce system partners listed below. Reiterated in each presentation that transition is about more than just unemployment insurance (UI), it is about the whole person. Distributed presentation to the audience via email.

1. An Opportunity for Awareness _ Virginia Employment Commission All Manager’s Meeting May 23, 2018.
2. An Opportunity for Awareness – Opportunity INC. American Job Center, June 6, 2018.
3. An Opportunity for Awareness – Peninsula Worklink American Job Center Staff, July 25, 2018.
4. An Opportunity for Awareness – Hampton Virginia Employment Commission Staff, Jul 25, 2018.
5. An Opportunity for Awareness – Virginia Employment Commission Veteran Staff, Dec 19, 2018.
6. An Opportunity for Awareness – Virginia Career Center Fredericksburg, January 16, 2019.
7. An Opportunity for Awareness – Greater Peninsula Workforce Council, January 23, 2019.
8. An Opportunity for Awareness – Thomas Nelson Community College, January 25, 2019.
9. An Opportunity for Awareness – Paul D. Camp Community College, February 13, 2019.
10. An Opportunity for Awareness – Virginia Employment Comm South Boston, February 20, 2019.
11. An Opportunity for Awareness – Commonwealth Networking, March 13, 2019.
12. An Opportunity for Awareness – Virginia Career Center Norfolk, March 13, 2019.
13. An Opportunity for Awareness – Chesapeake Economic Development, April 22, 2019.
14. An Opportunity for Awareness – Chesapeake Economic Development, April 22, 2019.
15. An Opportunity for Awareness – Virginia Employment Commission, Onley, May 1, 2019.
16. An Opportunity for Awareness – Eastern Shore Community College, May 1, 2019.
17. An Opportunity for Awareness – Virginia Employment Commission Portsmouth, May 22, 2019.
18. An Opportunity for Awareness – Goodwill Central and Coastal Virginia, May 23,2019
19. An Opportunity for Awareness – Bay Area Consortium Workforce Board, August 28, 2019.
20. An Opportunity for Awareness – Rapid Response Expeditious Presentation, September 19, 2019.
21. An Opportunity for Awareness – JVSG Eastern Region Training Conference, December 12-13, 2022.
22. An Opportunity for Awareness – Virginia Career One Stop Operators, Hampton, April 19, 2023.
23. An Opportunity for Awareness – Suffolk Workforce Development Center Group, April 24, 2023.
24. An Opportunity for Awareness- Virginia Career Center Norfolk Career Developers, June 14, 2023.

Wray, Curtis D. (2020). The 2ex concept in rapid response service delivery, pdf. Discussed the whole person concept. Websites: LinkedIn.Com and theconsummatetransitioner.com.

Wray, Curtis D. (2020 -2024). (power point (ppt) presentations. Discussed the whole person concept (see below). Unpublished – used the slide the whole person concept/approach (below) in 2020, and to date conducted a total of 48 Rapid Response Manager’s Meetings (RRMM) and/or Rapid Response Employee Briefings (RREB) to impacted/affected employers and employees using this slide. The names of the employers are redacted and not listed to maintain trust and to protect their confidentiality. Emphasized in the presentation that the workforce system must look at the whole person. Distributed the ppt presentation to the audience via email.

 

1. Response Employee Briefing, November 29, 2020
2. Rapid Response Manager’s Meeting, October 22, 2020
3. Rapid Response Manager’s Meeting, October 22, 2020
4. Response Manager’s Meeting, September 22, 2020
5. Rapid Response Employee Briefing September 16, 2020
6. Response Manager’s Meeting, September 10, 2020
7. Rapid Response Manager’s Meeting August 25, 2020
8. Rapid Response Manager’s Meeting, August 21, 2020
9. Rapid Response Manager’s Meeting, July 9, 2020
10. Rapid Response Manager’s Meeting June 5, 2020
11. Rapid Response Employee Briefing May 13, 2020
12. Rapid Response Manager’s Meeting, May 6, 2020
13. Rapid Response Manager’s Meeting, January 22, 2020
14. Rapid Response Manager’s Meeting, October 27, 2021
15. Rapid Response Manager’s Meeting, May 22, 2021
16. Rapid Response Employee Briefing May 13, 2020
17. Rapid Response Employee Briefing April 27, 2021
18. Rapid Response Employee Briefing, March 31, 2021
19. Rapid Response Employee Briefing, April 9, 2023
20. Rapid Response Employee Briefing, April 8, 2023
21. Rapid Response Employee Briefing, April 1, 2023
22. Rapid Response Manager’s Meeting, December 20, 2022
23. Rapid Response Employee Briefing, November 1,17, and 29, 2022
24. Rapid Response Employee Briefing June 29, and July 21, 2022
25. Rapid Response Manager’s Meeting, June 21, 2022
26. Rapid Response Manager’s Meeting, May 4, 2022
27. Rapid Response Manager’s Meeting, May 9, 2022
28. Rapid Response Employee Briefing, May 13, 2022
29. Rapid Response Manager’s Meeting, February 2, 2022
30. Rapid Response Employee Briefing, August 22, 2023
31. Rapid Response Employee Briefing, August 3, 2023 (two sessions)
32. Rapid Response Employee Briefing, August 4, 2023 (two sessions)
33. Rapid Response Manager’s Meeting, July 13, 2023
34. Rapid Response Employee Briefing, June 23, 2023
34. Rapid Response Employee Briefing, June 8, 2023 (two sessions)
36. Rapid Response Employee Briefing, June 5, 2023
37. Rapid Response Manager’s Meeting, May 18, 2023
38. Rapid Response Manager’s Meeting, May 10, 2023
39. Rapid Response Employee Briefing, May 3, 2023
40. Rapid Response Manager’s Meeting, March 21, 2023
41. Response Manager’s Meeting, March 2, 2023
42. Response Employee Briefing, February 10, 2023