Reemployment Programs Collaborate to Provide Quality Service to the Unemployed

The DEW’s Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) staff and Rescare’s Workforce Investment Act (WIA) staff from the Catawba region collaborated to meet the re-employment needs of TE Connectivity Trade impacted dislocated workers during a recent Trade/WIA Intake Sessions.

WIA and TAA programs provide quality employment and training services to assist individuals in finding and qualifying for meaningful employment and to help employers find the skilled workers they need.

As a part of their strategy to be proactive with the benefits and services their programs provide, DEW staff scheduled two sessions a day for four days in order to provide multiple services for these participants. At these sessions, participants were able to file South Carolina Unemployment Claims, complete initial TAA paperwork and enroll in WIA.

Staff from Rapid Response, WIA, TAA, Trade Readjustment Allowances (TRA), UI, & an interpreter worked together as a team, setting up service stations in the Rock Hill Adult Education Center to complete everything needed within a three hour timeframe.

Mobility of staff and resources was the key to make this happen and bring about a successful result. Each unit was responsible for bringing support such as laptops, printers and Internet connections. The staffs worked together throughout the day to ensure participant questions were answered.

For many participants, especially trade-affected workers, this was the first time they had ever been laid off, and filing for unemployment benefits was a very emotional experience for them. Participants were very appreciative that everything could be completed in one session; a process that would have required multiple trips to the local SC Works Centers otherwise.

“Our goal is to have our reemployment programs perceived as an opportunity to make a positive change in life, guided by expert staff who care about participants and our state’s economy as a whole,” said Silvia Middleton, SC state TAA coordinator

While this was not the first group intake or collaborative effort in the state, it is amongst the first of its magnitude. “DEW staff is committed to partnering with our local WIA team to meet the needs of South Carolina residents. Together, we can put South Carolinians back to work,” said Marsha Self, trade operations coordinator.