Copyright 2018. Southwestern Oregon Workforce Investment Board. All rights reserved. The SOWIB is funded through the U.S. Department of Labor and the Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission’s Office of Community Colleges and Workforce Development. The SOWIB is an equal opportunity employer/program. Auxiliary formats are available upon request to persons with disabilities.

National COVID-19 Emergency

For the most up-to-date information, please use the following websites:​

Oregon Employment Department

Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission


Department of Labor (DOL)

Oregon Health Authority (OHA)

Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

Small Business Administration (SBA)

Business Needs Assessment

for Affected Employers

Please complete a

Business Needs Assessment 

to provide information needed for a rapid assessment and report to the state on COVID-19's impact on Coos, Curry and Douglas 

County businesses and employers.  

Please return completed forms by email, fax, or text: 


Fax 844-205-7419

Or text a picture of the form by texting the word “response” to  484848 and following the instructions. 

Unemployment Insurance 


Please avoid going to a local WorkSource office, unless help is needed to access a phone or a computer with internet. Unemployment Insurance claims are processed at centers in Portland and Bend. Going to a local office will not expedite processing, and entry into the building is being limited to comply with public health restrictions. 

Affected employees can file for unemployment insurance online or by phone 1-877-345-3484.

Rapid Response

Rapid Response is a proactive, business-focused, and flexible strategy designed for two major purposes:

  1. To respond to announcements of layoffs and plant closings by quickly coordinating services and promoting immediate aid to companies and their affected workers to ensure rapid reemployment, and to minimize the negative impacts of layoff.

  2. To help growing companies access the resources they need to continue to be successful, including helping meet existing and future talent needs. 

Our region's Rapid Response Team can provide services to help company leadership and affected workers through the painful transitions associated with job loss. We help affected workers apply for unemployment benefits, access other income support and healthcare resources and connect to training and reemployment services.

In response to the current state of the workforce impacted by COVID-19, there is an option to conduct Rapid Response sessions virtually. The Unemployment Insurance (UI) presentation, is reflective of the new Unemployment Claimant Handbook and provides updated information for new claimants filing for UI.



  1. COVID-19 OED Resources for Employers and Workers 

  2. March Guide for Laid Off Workers in Oregon 2020 


Contact SOWIB Rapid Response Lead:


For more background, click: State of Oregon – Rapid Response and U.S. Department of Labor – Rapid Response

Layoff Aversion

Due to the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, the State of Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission Office of Workforce Investments (OWI) has released federal additional assistance funding thru the Local Workforce Board System throughout the state.  The federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act fund for layoff aversion activities are designed to prevent, or minimize the duration of, unemployment resulting from layoffs.

Southwestern Oregon Workforce Investment Board will distribute Layoff Aversion Funds in Coos, Curry and Douglas Counties with the following parameters:

  • Requests must be a result of the business impact from COVID-19

  • Small businesses/organizations with fewer than 20 employees

  • Limited to reimbursements for supplies and/or equipment up to $5,000

To be considered to receive Layoff Aversion Funds you must complete an Application for Layoff Aversion Funds

The Rapid Response Team may also help companies avoid layoffs, so contact them to learn more about the following:


Work ShareWork Share provides an alternative for employers and workers facing the prospect of a layoff. Instead of reducing staff, an employer reduces the hours of work for a group of workers. Partial Unemployment Insurance benefits are then paid to supplement workers' reduced wages. 

Customized Layoff Aversion Funds - Limited funds have also been made available for us to support companies with customized layoff aversion strategies. For example, these funds can be used to purchase software and equipment to support employees working from home and for cleaning/sanitizing services. Funds are limited and we cannot guarantee every application will be funded.


Please use the following links:


Business Closures

If businesses are completely closing, business owners should inform their employees of this in writing and that all employees are laid off until further notice. It is very important for businesses to also file a WARN Notice. Both of these actions help track closures and provide workers with documentation to claim Unemployment Insurance. WARN Notices help trigger additional state and federal funding for our region that can be utilized in flexible ways to help people during this crisis. For assistance, contact: John Asher - 503-947-2413 or 

Unemployment Insurance

Trade Act

Health Insurance

Business Needs Assessment can also be accessed via QR Code, or the following link:

Business Needs Assessment PDF

Register to receive a weekly COVID-19 Business Impact Status Report here