Department of Employment Services

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Dislocated Workers

"Dislocated" workers include the following:

  • People who have lost jobs because of industry closings or mass layoffs
  • Long-term unemployed people who have limited opportunity for jobs in their field
  • Self-employed individuals whose lack of employment is due to general economic conditions or natural disasters

The District offers a Rapid Response Program of assistance to people and employers affected by business closings or layoffs. A Rapid Response team provides a range of services at the worksite, including career guidance and transition counseling, resume preparation, labor market information, unemployment insurance information, customized job search assistance, occupational skills training, support services and relocation assistance.

In August 1988, Congress passed the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN), which requires advance notice of plant closing or mass layoffs. It allows affected workers, their unions and the District government to begin the process of providing Rapid Response services and timely training to these workers. The District of Columbia’s Department of Employment Services (DOES) offers an array of individually tailored services designed to assist the dislocated worker in re-entering the workforce in the shortest possible period of time.   

Services Provided


  • Classroom or vocational training
  • Literacy and English for non-English speaking individuals
  • Preparation for the GED exam (high school equivalency diploma)

Job Placement Assistance

  • Staff in the Dislocated Worker Unit will develop individually tailored strategies and pursue job opportunities to match the skills of the worker with the needs of employers.

CareerPath serves workers, unions and area employers by assessing, counseling, training and placing workers in family-sustaining jobs.

Visit the US Department of Labor website for more information about the Dislocated Workers Program.

For more information about the Dislocated Workers and Rapid Response services, please contact.

Associate Director
Special Programs
4058 Minnesota Avenue, NE
Washington, DC 20019
Phone: (202) 698-6001

Service Contact: 
Special Programs
Contact Email: 
Contact Phone: 
(202) 698-6001
Contact Fax: 
(202) 673-6993
Contact TTY: