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2018 Budget Talks: The Winds of Change are in the Air

Re-imagining America’s Workforce Development System

With the House Appropriations Committee approving the FY 2018 Labor-HHS Ed Funding bill, we have yet another opportunity to consider how the public workforce system must evolve to meet the needs of its business and individual customers.

Some suggest that the focus lies solely with meeting the needs of the business customer.  Others suggest we must invest in career pathways and position them as the core of the workforce delivery system.  Then there are those who think technology should rule the day and that the physical American Job Center is becoming obsolete. No matter which school of thought you subscribe to, it is clear that our system must embrace change to remain relevant to our businesses, individual customers and our national, state and regional economies. We have been “tweaking” for nearly 20 years as federal budgets shrink to … Read more →

America’s Skills Gap Grows! Costs businesses nearly $1M/year according to survey.

We are bombarded by information about America’s “skills gap.” Every day, news stories report the now infamous 6 million unfilled jobs in the country. At the same time, those of us engaged with the nation’s workforce development system struggle to help under-skilled job seekers work toward economic security and meaningful career paths.

Employers struggle too; they’re reassessing their entry level skill and educational requirements and their pay rates. They’re hoping to find a solution to vacancies that put stress on managers and cause existing staff to do “double-duty” to get the work done.

But production is not the only cost of the ongoing American Skills Gap, according to a recent survey by CareerBuilder. Their April, 2017 survey of over 2,300 employers and 3,400 workers tells a story of higher employee turnover, reduced staff morale, lower quality work… Read more →

American Job Center Customer Flow Scenarios

Maher & Maher works hand-in-hand with our federal partners to implement strategic technical assistance strategies and innovative training solutions. One recent example – the American Job Center (AJC) Customer Flow Scenarios was produced under its Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Technical Assistance support contract with the Employment and Training Administration (ETA). Many states and local areas have expressed a need for tools that help AJCs coordinate staff and partners to work collaboratively across programs. This booklet features five illustrated stories (in graphic novel format) that represent scenarios of customer experiences and the guidance an AJC staff member might provide.

 

Sam has an undisclosed disability and needs guidance on reasonable accommodations and other rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act while returning to the labor force. Charles is an employer seeking guidance to hire and accommodate workers with disabilities and is seeking resources… Read more →

WBL Quick Reference Desk Guide Available

We are excited to offer access to ETA’s Desk Reference Guide to Work-Based Learning (WBL) for workforce professionals. The short desktop aid offers quick access to information on the various types of WBL available for use by workforce system pros. The Maher Team produced the tool under its WIOA Technical Assistance support contract with the Employment and Training Administration (ETA).

From Registered Apprenticeship to OJT and more, the Guide provides a short tutorial on the various forms of WBL and how they could be properly administered for the benefit of system customers.  

“Today’s challenging labor market, characterized by over 6 million un-filled, middle-skilled job openings, requires innovative solutions,” said Richard (“Rick”) D. Maher, the Firm’s Presdient & CEO. “Work-based learning – in all its forms – is a powerful tool for both our System… Read more →

My Reemployment Plan: A Customer-Focused Guide to Reemployment Strategies for Today’s Labor Market

Our national economy is recovering at a steady pace from the so-called Great Recession that ended in 2009. The recession was the most severe, and one of the longest-persisting economic downturns, since the Great Depression. Employment fell by 6.3 percent during that period, and although the economy has added an average of 191,000 jobs per month since then, many workers are still not as secure or well off as they were before the recession hit.

A study conducted by the McKinsey Global Institute notes: “Technology and globalization have created a more dynamic and fast-paced business environment, but the way economies connect most individuals with work has been slow to respond. A significant proportion of workers feel overqualified or disengaged in their current roles…  [That leaves] millions of people coping with unemployment, underemployment, stagnant wages, and discouragement.”

Back in 2015, and in response to these… Read more →

A Fresh Look at our Processes

Maher is a firm that has always valued process; it’s one of our key strengths. At the same time, our clients expect us to be flexible and responsive to changes in work flow and their business priorities. Our Private Sector team came together in April to work on bringing the best of our agile workflows into consistent practice while maintaining client-specific flexibility in our process.

We met at our corporate offices in New Jersey to reflect on the growth and expansion of our Practice and the firm as a whole. We’re proud of how we’ve launched innovative learning solutions for our clients and for our peers’ public-sector clients, cross-pollenating new methods of learning born out of private sector initiatives.

It was also a chance for us to review and evaluate the way we serve clients. We wanted to… Read more →

Wedding Day Celebration for Long-time WorkforceGPS team member!

This last weekend brought a time for celebration to the extended Maher Family, as long-time associate, Margaret Lamb, watched her daughter walk down the aisle. Margaret is a client and team favorite here at Maher, where she is a stalwart on our WorkforceGPS support team for USDOL-ETA.

If you are a member of WorkforceGPS (ETA’s primary platform for technical assistance and communications with the Nation’s Workforce Development System), you have no-doubt encountered Margaret. Her smiling face and customer-first attitude makes her a key member of our support staff!

But on Friday, June 16th, Margaret’s mind was anywhere but on WorkforceGPS business, as she attended her BIG DAY and watched daughter Samantha Marie Rooney “tie the knot” with her beau – Douglas Damiano, Jr.

All of us here wish the newlyweds a long and… Read more →

Maher Attends LTEN Conference in Nashville

On Monday, June 5th, I started day one of the 46th Annual LTEN Conference in Nashville, Tennessee at the Gaylord Opryland.  LTEN is the Life Sciences Trainers and Educators Network, previously known as the Society of Pharmaceutical and Biotech Trainers (SPBT) and prior to that, for us older alumni, the National Society of Pharmaceutical Sales Trainers (NSPST). 

I’ve attended this conference almost every year for nearly 20 years.  After all, my foray into Learning and Development after graduate school was in this market, working on product training for market leading brands like Pfizer’s Lipitor® (atorvastatin calcium).  

The LTEN conference offers a unique inside view of the Life Sciences industry and how the Learning and Development functions within these organizations are challenged to drive efficiencies, compliance, and performance improvements to ultimately result in better business outcomes, whether that… Read more →

Maher Supports State Apprenticeship Expansion Grantees in Nation’s Capital

For the past decade, Maher & Maher has been a strategic partner to the Office of Apprenticeship at the US Department of Labor, and is leading several initiatives to expand apprenticeship in all industries, states and demographic populations.

The first week of May brought Apprenticeship to the forefront with two nationally attended conferences, the first of which was managed by the Maher Apprenticeship Team as a part of its State Apprenticeship Expansion (SAE) Grant contract with the Office of Apprenticeship.

Over 100 apprenticeship, workforce, and education professionals from states and territories receiving SAE Grants as well as representatives from the Office of Apprenticeship attended the SAE Grantee Conference in Arlington, Virginia to work with their state peers, Maher technical assistance coaches and subject matter experts, and U.S. Department of Labor staff on grant-specific challenges and opportunities.

Conference attendees expressed their appreciation for being… Read more →

Maher Workforce Solutions Practices Sharpen the Saw!

Last week a group of senior staff from Maher’s Workforce Solutions practices gathered in the historic Willard Office Building in downtown D.C. for training. For two days about 20 of our professional team worked together to drive new efficiency in our development activities and benchmark best practices with the leaders in the government sector.

“We have been talking about this for the last year … looking at ways to make what we do more effective and efficient,” said Richard D. (“Rick”) Maher, the Firm’s President and CEO. “Our people are incredibly talented and work really hard to make our clients successful. We want to do a better job telling the world about what we do, and making that effort “world-class” – just like the consulting efforts we perform.”

The group gathered near the… Read more →