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Labor Department’s Rapid Response Unit Honored by United Labor Agency

For immediate release
July 29, 2008

WETHERSFIELD, Members of the Connecticut Department of Labor’s Rapid Response Unit have been recognized by the John J. Driscoll United Labor Agency (ULA) for their efforts on behalf of dislocated workers in this state. The Rapid Response Unit was honored for outstanding service in providing services to approximately 1,325 employers and more than 5,285 workers in Connecticut last year.

Comprised of Andrea Slusarz, Susan Fracasso and Jennifer DeMonte, the Rapid Response Unit was honored for its commitment to helping workers who have lost their jobs as a result of downsizing or company closings. Working with area employers, the unit sets up informational meetings before layoffs occur to provide workforce information geared toward helping affected workers obtain the assistance they need to find a new job more quickly. At these “Early Intervention” sessions, Rapid Response members provide essential information regarding services offered through the CTWorks Career Center services. They also review the unemployment compensation program, health insurance options, and provide connections to community-based agencies that offer advocacy and support to dislocated workers. The unit has also worked with employers to plan regional recruitment events and job fairs.  

“For companies and workers, communities and families, the effects of a plant closing or layoff can be devastating,” noted State Labor Commissioner Patricia H. Mayfield. “Companies may be at a loss to prevent a closing and workers are understandably shocked and discouraged by their layoff and unsure of how to get back on their feet. Thanks to the efforts of our Rapid Response Unit, however, neither workers nor their families are alone in facing these challenges. We are honored to receive this award from the United Labor Agency, and proud of the assistance we provided to more than 5,000 workers this past year.” 

According to United Labor Agency Executive Director Lynn Dallas, the unit was honored during ULA’s 30th anniversary celebration at the Hartford Hilton. Dallas cited the team’s success in providing prompt and effective services to workers impacted by layoffs.

Coordinated by the Connecticut Department of Labor, the statewide Rapid Response Team is comprised of a partnership of agencies and community groups including the ULA, local Workforce Investment Boards, and the state Departments of Economic and Community Development, and Social Services. All services provided by the team are free of charge. 

Additional information about Early Intervention services and the Labor Department’s Rapid Response Unit can be found on the agency’s Web site at


Media Contact: Nancy Steffens  (860) 263-6535

200 Folly Brook Boulevard, Wethersfield, CT 06109 / Phone: 860-263-6000

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