by Rachel Vilsack

Workers who lose a job through no fault of their own may need some help returning to work. Minnesota’s Dislocated Worker program offers free services to help individuals find suitable reemployment – and help take the stress and uncertainty out of the process.


Services are designed to help people overcome barriers to employment, including:

  • 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 a previous position


Services are tailored to meet an individual worker’s specific needs. Program participants will work one-on-one with a counselor to develop an employment plan that may include:

  • Career planning and counseling –advice and assistance with career decision-making, developing job goals, and personal planning to find a suitable job.
  • Job search and placement services – job-seeking skill workshops, job lead development, job clubs and networking activities.
  • Counselor-approved training – short-term training to brush up skills or long-term training to acquire skills in a new field.
  • Other support services – limited funds are available to help an individual achieve employment or training goals.


If you’ve been laid off through no fault of your own (or have been notified by your employer that a layoff is coming), are eligible to receive unemployment insurance benefits, and are unlikely to return to your previous occupation or industry, you may be eligible for the program. To determine eligibility and apply, call or visit a WorkForce Center location or partner agency near you. In cases of plant closings or mass layoffs of 50 or more workers, the Rapid Response Team can bring services to your worksite with your employer’s cooperation.


Additional help may be available to workers who have lost their jobs, hours or income as a result of increased foreign trade activity through the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program.