Dislocated Worker Program


Our Dislocated Worker Program services are designed to help workers get back to work as quickly as possible and overcome such difficult barriers to employment as:

  • Difficulty transferring specialized skills to other occupations or industries.
  • A decline in the market demand for certain skills.
  • Age or length of work experience.
  • Need for formal training or education.
  • Lack of jobs with earnings at a level comparable to their previous positions.

Services are custom tailored to meet an individual worker's specific needs. Working one-on-one with a counselor, you'll develop a plan for employment that may include:

  • Career planning and counseling
  • Job search and placement services
  • Counselor-approved training
  • Other support services

How to Apply
As soon you receive notice of permanent layoff or termination, you may inquire about Dislocated Worker Programs at a local WorkForce Center. Staff will help determine if you are eligible and get you started.

In cases of plant closings or mass layoffs of 50 or more workers, our Rapid Response Team can bring our services to your work site with your employer's cooperation.

Watch A Video Overview 
The following video provides an overview of our Dislocated Worker program and what it can do for you. It covers who qualifies for the program, typical interactions at our WorkForce Center and interviews with people who have used our services.

Career Planning

Figuring out what to do after being laid off can be daunting. You will need a job search strategy. That's where we come in. We're experts at helping you develop a roadmap to a new job - or maybe even an entirely new career.

It all starts with a personal job counselor. Together, you'll discuss services available to laid off workers, examine opportunities that exist within your field and explore the options for changing careers if you're unlikely to return to your previous occupation or industry.

With the guidance of your counselor, you can develop job goals and put together a personal plan for finding a job.

We'll also use assessment tests to help guide your job search. WorkForce Center staffers (and Rapid Response providers) employ several toolsmainly personality, skills' and aptitude teststo offer insights into your talents, abilities and interests and how those match up with available jobs.

You may discover your skills fit an emerging industry or service quite well. Training may be in store for you. Counselors will lead you through the testing and interpret the results.

To determine if you are eligible for the program, and find a job counselor in your area, visit the WorkForce Center near you.

Job Search

If you have been on the job for several years with the same employer, your resume may be a bit dusty and your job interviewing skills may be on the rusty side. You may not even know where or how to begin your job search.

No worries. We offer workshops, classes and job clubs through our WorkForce Centers to help you brush up your job hunting skills.

Job Preparation 
You don't want to approach today's competitive job market with an antiquated resume and poorly written cover letters.

We offer a host of workshops that will teach you how to prepare resumes, cover letters and other correspondence. We provide tips on how to write resumes that get read and that can survive the resume software screens some employer's use.

Getting the resume right is a major key to getting a job. We're there to assist you and highlight your skills, your achievements, your talents and your career.

Placement Services 
You're not alone in searching for a job. We have many assets that can help you find your next job.

Our counselors get job announcements from employers and other agencies in addition to developing their own leads. And, we'll help guide you to the hidden job market of unadvertised positions.

We have MinnesotaWorks.net , a statewide job database available online and at WorkForce Centers. Our counselors will tell you about other local and national job-related websites that can help in your search.

Job Networking 
Finding a job is not only about answering an advertisement. In fact, most positions aren't advertised. That's what people mean when they talk about the hidden job market.

Through our WorkForce Centers, we create job clubs and similar meetings where you can practice networking skills and hear presentations from employers.

You will learn about job search resources in your community and in the state. And you will be directed to professional networking groups which can help you achieve your goals.

And in our networking groups, you will be associating with others who want to discuss job openings and job search issues. You'll find the groups are not just a source of good information and moral support, the people you meet will soon become part of your network of contacts that could help lead you to your next job.


Losing your job causes more disruption than the loss of a paycheck. Markets change quickly. It may be that you are unable to return to your previous career. Our services are designed to help you navigate a new career.

Our career counseling connects you to training opportunities. After you receive counseling and an assessment from our staff, we will assist you in finding educational opportunities to prepare for jobs in industries which need workers.

We have many training options. Our WorkForce Centers have free short-term training sessions to improve your job-related skills. Longer-term and specialized training and education are available too. If you're interested in becoming an entrepreneur, see the CLIMB tab.

We have established relationships with training facilities across the state, as well as the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.

Workplace Skills 
Sometimes you may find yourself in need of new job skills. We provide classes on workplace effectiveness skills such as written and verbal communications, math, language training, management labor relations and leadership.

Never finished high school? That can be a huge problem in getting another job. We can find you a GED program.

We'll help you locate whatever training and educational programs you need to succeed.

Financial Assistance 
Unemployment can cause tremendous hardship for workers and their families. It is difficult to juggle taking care of your family and taking training courses while searching for jobs and interviewing with employers.

Our funds are limited. However, in certain cases, we offer financial assistance for expenses related to child and family care and transportation. These funds pay for services you need while you receive training and look for a job.


ClimbLogo100pxCLIMB (Converting Layoffs into Minnesota Businesses) is a component of the state-funded Dislocated Worker (DW) program designed to assist aspiring entrepreneurs with training and consulting for a successful business launch or growth.  It's authorized by state statute.

Here are some helpful resources for aspiring entrepreneurs; and frequently asked questions (FAQs) for service providers:

  • What services are available?

    CLIMB uses the existing Dislocated Worker program network. Dislocated worker service providers are located in every WorkForce Center in the state. These service providers can discuss the requirements for CLIMB and help you decide whether it’s a good choice for you. If CLIMB is a good choice for you, the service provider will help you identify organizations in your community that can help you develop an effective business plan and obtain funding to start your business. CLIMB cannot provide either direct grants or loans to participants, but the state-funded Dislocated Worker program can pay for business consulting and training for the CLIMB participant to help them establish their business.

    Business consulting and training services are available through the Small Business Development Network (SBDC), and a number of organizations that serve entrepreneurs and business owners (Women Venture, Initiative Foundations, etc.).

  • Who can participate in CLIMB?

    You must be eligible to participate in the state-funded Dislocated Worker program. The easiest way to see if you qualify as a dislocated worker is to contact your WorkForce Center. In addition, you will need to have a viable business idea and at least the start of a business plan.

  • Are CLIMB participants still eligible to receive Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits?

    Yes. If your CLIMB plan has been approved by your dislocated worker service provider, you can receive UI benefits while you prepare to start and engage in your business. This is likely the most important component to CLIMB. If your CLIMB plan is approved, DEED will inform the UI Program that you are a CLIMB participant. As a result of your participation in CLIMB, two major components of UI eligibility are waived so long as you are working to start your business or are actually engaged in running your business:

    • Apply for UI benefits through the Minnesota Unemployment Insurance website www.uimn.org or by calling 651-296-3644
    • You will not need to seek work or be available for work with other employers – but you will need to work fulltime to start or run your business ; 
    • Earning and hours worked in your business will not affect your weekly UI benefits – you will still need to report your earnings and hours worked in both your business and any other employment you might also have;

    Because CLIMB participants have slightly different requirements from other UI applicants, CLIMB participants will request their weekly UI benefits using a paper form rather than the online, self-service system.

  • Who do I contact for more information?

    You may send questions or comments to Francisca Abbey and Monica Weber.


Dislocated Worker Program Information Line

Telephone: 651-259-7537 
Toll Free (in greater MN): 866-213-1422
Fax: 651-215-3842
Email: deed.dw@state.mn.us

Mailing Address

Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development
ATTN: Dislocated Worker Program
First National Bank Building
332 Minnesota Street, Suite E200
Saint Paul, MN 55101-1351