The Duncan Banner

January 15, 2013

Rapid Response Team event held today

Toni Hopper
The Duncan Banner

DUNCAN — Those individuals who were terminated from their jobs at Halliburton this week can begin the process today of moving forward and a Rapid Response Team is hoping to make that process easier.

Initiated by Workforce Duncan Center, the Rapid Response Team brings together numerous agencies throughout Stephens County into one central location. The meetings are at 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. at the Jerry D. Morris Business Center on the Red River Technology Center campus.

Chris Moore, center manager for Oklahoma Employment Security Commission at Workforce Duncan Center, said he believes the individuals were informed of the special event when they were met with by Halliburton management in their one-on-one meetings.

The layoffs began Sunday and continued through Monday. There will be representatives from Workforce Duncan, the unemployment division for claim processing, Cameron University, Red River Technology Center, Duncan Area Economic Development Foundation and ASCOG. There also will be representatives from Department of Human Services to help people with insurance options and other benefits for which they may qualify.  

This is not the first time for the Rapid Response Team to be activated. It was also used in 2009 on the heels of a Halliburton layoff similar to this week’s actions. Moore said it  was a success and many people had their questions answered and were able to receive retraining to re-enter the workforce.

“It gives them all the information they need, so they don’t have to come here (Workforce Duncan Center),” Moore said.

“The centralized nature of the whole thing makes it work. The focus is on getting information from every agency in town that is set up to help them.”

Presentations from the representatives will help individuals identify where to turn for help. They will be able to directly ask questions of the representatives. This also helps them quickly transition, whether it be to another job, unemployment or retraining.

Moore didn’t have numbers for how many people might attend. He expected a larger turnout in the morning events.

Lisa Williams, who is the Adult Career Development director and Business and Industry director at Red River Technology Center, said Monday that the event really helps the adults to look at many options available to them.

From a retraining and reschooling avenue, it gives them several career pathway option. “They initiate it first with the Workforce  office, and then they send prospective students who may be interested to us,” Williams said.

“It depends on what an individual wants to do. We have a website which also helps answer many questions.”

Those recently unemployed should visit the school’s site at www.rrtc.edu, and look at two of the tabs on the main page — Daytime Programs and Adult Training.

“Those are good places to start,” she said.

Moore said the assistance doesn’t end with the Rapid Response Team event. “We will have representatives here almost every Monday for people who could have problems with unemployment down the road,” he said. Those representatives will be available at the Workforce Duncan Center to assist anyone needing unemployment claim questions handled. Each agency will also be able to assist the individuals in the coming weeks.