L&I Offers $6 Million to Support At-Risk Businesses Across Pennsylvania

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PENNSYLVANIA – In a move to help stabilize Pennsylvania businesses and prevent mass layoffs, the Department of Labor and Industry has announced $6 million in funding for Rapid Response Services. These services offer support to businesses in danger of shutting down, including workforce retention and attraction services. With this grant money, L&I will be able to prioritize early intervention services aimed at preventing layoffs whenever possible.

“When workers lose jobs with family-sustaining pay and benefits, it can destabilize entire communities,” said Acting Secretary Nancy Walker. “Rapid Response Services are critical to minimizing the impacts of mass layoffs and closures, so that Pennsylvania communities and families have a real opportunity to rebound.”

Under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), Pennsylvania provides Rapid Response Services to assist in early intervention and re-employment services for businesses and their employees affected by a permanent closure, mass layoff, or natural or other disaster resulting in mass job dislocation. Through engagement with other local businesses in their communities, Rapid Response Services provide job retention resources for potentially dislocated workers, helping them to find employment as soon as possible, while also preventing loss of wages and economic uncertainty.

Eligible applicants include organizations with the experience and expertise to advance L&I’s goal of developing and using Pennsylvania’s existing workforce development system to prevent layoffs and help at-risk businesses. Applicants should also be capable of creating partnerships to coordinate the design of the project; develop and implement an appropriate budget; deliver services; collect and report performance management measures; and coordinate and evaluate the activities of the project. Grantee(s) may be required to work with an evaluator.

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Additional details and the grant application for the Statewide Layoff Aversion Program grants can be found on L&I’s website. Applications for the grants are due by 4 p.m. on April 3, 2023. L&I anticipates a performance period beginning July 1, 2023, to June 30, 2024. Grantees may have the option to enter into consecutive second and third-year contracts.

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