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 program designed to assist aspiring entrepreneurs in the state-funded Dislocated Worker (DW) program with training and consulting to assist in a successful business launch or growth.

It's authorized by state statute: Minn. Stat. 116L.17, subd. 11.

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

  • Resources for Entrepreneurs

    DEED Resources

    These are readily available DEED resources for those seeking self-employment and business ownership:

    Other Resources

    These are additional resources offered by private and public entities:

  • What is CLIMB?

    CLIMB is a program designed to assist aspiring entrepreneurs in the state-funded Dislocated Worker (DW) program with training and consulting to assist in a successful business launch or growth.

  • What services does it provide?

    CLIMB uses existing state DW program funding to provide small business consulting and training to interested program participants. Previously, business consulting was not an allowable use of funding; under CLIMB, it is an allowable use.

  • What services does CLIMB not provide?

    CLIMB will not provide grants or loans to aspiring entrepreneurs or existing business owners. Business consultants with whom customers are working through CLIMB can assist with identifying possible capital resources, assist in the development of lender required loan documentation, and help facilitate contact with organizations that provide capital. The intent of CLIMB is to successfully prepare qualified program participants for business ownership through training and consulting.

  • Who does it serve?

    This program will serve current dislocated workers who express an interest in business ownership through self-employment.

  • When can customers begin receiving services?

    NOW! The program services are currently available to customers.

  • Where will it be available?

    Customers can engage the program by coming into or calling one of the nearly fifty WorkForce Centers across the state of Minnesota that offer the state DW program. Once the individual is enrolled in the state DW program, s/he can start receiving initial services. Business consulting and training services are available through the Small Business Development Network (SBDC), and any number of organizations that serve entrepreneurs and business owners (Women Venture, Initiative Foundations, etc.).

  • How will we track customer progress?

    DW program service providers will track these services in Workforce One (WF1), where we have two CLIMB activities: CLIMB consulting and CLIMB training.

  • How do we track program outcomes and what standards will we apply?

    We will track program outcomes just as we do for any other DW program participant. However, self-employed individuals do not show up in wage detail, so DEED staff are working to pull CLIMB program participants out of local providers’ DW program performance and roll them up to the statewide level. This will remove any disincentive to serve aspiring entrepreneurs, who will have a different re-employment journey than a typical dislocated worker.

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

    Yes. Minnesota passed legislation which made CLIMB participants eligible to receive Unemployment Insurance benefits while in the program, up to the maximum allowable weeks. This is likely the most important component to CLIMB. For DW program participants enrolled in CLIMB, three components of UI eligibility are waived:

    1. The requirement to search for work (so that new business owners can focus on launching/growing their own business); 
    2. The earnings deductibility (so that any money a new business owner makes is reported, but not deducted from their UI benefit);
    3. The 32 hour limit (so that new business owners can work in excess of 32 hours per week on their new businesses). 
    These customers need to report their weekly UI form using the hard paper copy method.
  • How can I serve an aspiring entrepreneur who is not eligible for CLIMB?

    The Small Business Development Center network is an outstanding resource for individuals seeking to start or grow a business. Consultants with the SBDC are also willing to meet with a client for free for the first time as a part of the basic set of services offered to clients of the Small Business Administration. 

    There are also several additional resources for aspiring entrepreneurs, including and not limited to Women Venture, the Initiative Foundations throughout the state, and SCORE.

  • When do I exit my client?

    This is a challenging question, because the answer varies from client to client. If your client launches a business, keep in touch to ensure s/he will no longer require business consulting services. These services are available as long as s/he needs. If your client decides to accept full-time employment elsewhere, and you would ordinarily exit him/her from state DW, be sure to exit your client out of CLIMB so that s/he will fall back into your local performance to count positively toward your local performance. Close the CLIMB activity as “not satisfactorily completed” in order to capture this individual in your local performance for DW program outcomes.

Fact Sheets

Here you'll find fact sheets about the Dislocated Worker Program in 18 different languages. There are two sets of fact sheets, one for small layoffs and another for large or mass layoffs.

Select the link to download a fact sheet in your preferred language.

Fact Sheets for Small Layoffs
The following fact sheets describe the basic services available to workers affected by smaller layoffs.

Fact Sheets for Large Layoffs
The Dislocated Worker Program fact sheet below describes layoff aversion strategies, the roles of the Rapid Response Team and the Employee Management Committee in responding to a layoff, and how employers can help create a successful program.


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

Anthony Alongi, Director
Kim Anez, Rapid Response Specialist