For more than three decades, the Missouri AFL-CIO has worked with the state of Missouri to connect dislocated workers with the resources they need to return to the labor force following a facility closure or layoff.

Our team offers a variety of free programs for workers facing job loss including: Surviving Layoff Workshops, Stress Management Workshops and Peer Counseling Transition Team Trainings. These services are offered free of charge to workers facing job loss through no fault of their own.

Worker placing apples in a box
Are conducted in cooperation with the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development’s Community Development Team, and offer information on a number of topics including:
  • Applying for unemployment
  • Navigating health insurance options
  • Accessing Trade Act Program benefits
  • Making smart financial decisions following a job loss

Missouri AFL-CIO program coordinators present information on the following topics:

  • Taking charge of personal finances by creating a financial action plan
  • Looking for a new job and establishing a job search action plan
  • Managing stress by understanding it is okay to discuss the situation with family and access state resources as needed
  • Contacting your union and the AFL-CIO community to learn about helpful resources that may be available
  • Visiting Missouri Job Centers for full-service job search assistance

Stress Management Workshops

Equip impacted workers with proven techniques for recognizing the warning signs of stress and methods to reduce the effects of stress at a time of job loss. Additionally, attendees gain insight into numerous helpful community resources.

Peer counselors providing support to dislocated workers

Peer Counseling – Transition Team Training

Extensive one to two-day trainings are provided to a small group of designated employees who will then serve as peer counselors for the rest of the impacted workforce. Peer counseling works because it is built on already established trust that comes from shared work experiences. Transition Teams will stay in place throughout the layoff or facility closing process, helping workers to access the support and resources that they need.

These programs are designed to reduce stress in the workplace, help employees cope with the loss of a job, and decrease the duration of unemployment. We will provide the mental and emotional support needed for workers to manage the challenges of a job loss.

Jimmy Lappe

MWI Dislocated Worker Program

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Additional Helpful Resources:

Missouri Job Centers

The state’s network of job centers, a proud partner of the American Job Center Network, will provide resume assistance, interviewing skills, career counseling, and job search assistance. As a dislocated worker, you will be able to attend skill enhancement workshops and apply for training through local colleges, including technical schools, at no cost to you.

For more information and to find a job center near you, please visit or call 1-888-728-JOBS (5627) and it will ring at your nearest Job Center.

Missouri Department of Labor – Division of Employment Security

One of the more frequently accessed resources for unemployed workers is unemployment.

For more information and to determine whether you qualify for unemployment benefits, please visit To file for unemployment, visit Applicants will also be required to register at upon filing for unemployment.

Video tutorial to file for unemployment via UInteract.

Dislocated worker filing an unemployment claim
Items you will need to file an unemployment claim:
  • Social Security Number
  • Total earnings for the week
  • Name, address, and dates of past employment
  • Banking information, including routing and account numbers
Missouri Department of Social Services

The state of Missouri offers a variety of benefits and protections to individuals and families in need of additional support. For more information about available benefits, please visit

Health Insurance Options

If you have lost your health insurance as the result of a layoff, there are resources available to protect access to adequate coverage.

COBRA coverage – Employers are required to offer dislocated workers and their families the opportunity to continue their job-based health insurance coverage, with the family responsible for paying the premium. COBRA coverage is very expensive, so remember, if you have a sick child or spouse you can consider just enrolling one person into the COBRA plan reducing your cost.

For more information about COBRA, visit

Other group health coverage – If group coverage is available (for example, through a spouse’s employment-based plan), special enrollment in that plan should be considered. It allows the individual and his/her family an opportunity to enroll in a plan for which they are otherwise eligible, regardless of open enrollment periods. To qualify, enrollment must be requested within 30 days of losing eligibility for other coverage. After special enrollment is requested, coverage must be effective no later than the first day of the month following your request for enrollment.

Subsidized coverage – A good starting point is to visit to learn more about comprehensive health coverage that may be available to you.

Medicaid – To find out whether you qualify for Medicaid, visit or call 1-855-FSD-INFO (1-855-373-4636) to speak with a customer service representative.

United Way

For a referral to community social service resources, call 2-1-1 and you will be connected to a trained resource specialist 24/7. You can also visit for more information.