In September, the state of Ohio chose not to renew its rapid response contract with its existing service provider. Shortly thereafter, Policy Matters Ohio released a statement criticizing the Kasich Administration’s decision to not renew the contract with the Cleveland-based United Labor Agency (ULA), with whom it has contracted since 2007 to “avert layoffs, coordinate statewide workforce development activities, and improve rapid response services to laid-off workers,” Gongwer reports. Ben Johnson, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services, said federal funding for the Workforce Investment Act, which requires such rapid response services, has “steadily decreased” during the last few years as Ohio’s economy has improved “relative to other states” and that the state’s plan from the beginning has been to contract with ULA until local workforce investment boards were able to handle the work on their own. The intent now, Johnson said, is to free up that funding and simply contract rapid response services on an as-needed basis, the article said. For more, read Policy Matters Ohio’s press release and report summary.