Three work sessions at the recent National Association of Workforce Development Professionals (NAWDP) Conference in Orlando invited participants to innovate their way to improved service delivery integration, and to “fail fast” in the pursuit of better outcomes for both job seeker and employer customers. We were really energized by the enthusiasm of people from across the country as we explored ETA’s Customer Centered Design (CCD) initiative.
Customer Centered Design (CCD) is a way of exploring service delivery excellence using “design thinking” as the engine for innovation, and the Employment and Training Administration has been championing its acceptance across the Nation’s Workforce Development System aggressively. ETA’s Customer Centered Design Challenge, which we have supported as TA providers and coaches for the initiative, has seen 200 teams since last summer from across the U.S. form to re-imagine… Read more →
I recently had the honor of working with close to 100 local workforce development board members from across the state of Oklahoma, and was so impressed with their positive energy and intentions!. State officials worked in partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor’s (USDOL) Dallas Regional Office to promote and sponsor the event. This highly collaborative event convened at Oklahoma State University brought together board members, including board chairs, business members and board staff and a robust representation of Local Elected Officials (LEOs),to explore the many important elements of the new Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), and to train board members in their critical roles – among them to think and act more strategically in the years ahead.
We covered the essential elements of the new legislation, gave folks an overview of how the law would change the way they do business, and… Read more →
This month, Dr. Helen Parker from Maher & Maher kicked-off a plenary session on Designing Innovative & Engaging Services for Our Shared Customers at the City of Atlanta's 2016 Inter-Agency Regional Meeting. Nearly 200 participants representing a broad range of partner agencies and stakeholders from across the eight-state Atlanta Region gathered for a three-day event focused on Building Effective Partnerships: Utilizing Customer-Centered Approaches to Strengthen Employment Outcomes under WIOA. Regional leadership from three federal agencies, DOL’s Employment and Training Administration, HHS’s Administration for Children and Families, and the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service were on hand to help set the tone for fostering robust partnerships in serving shared customers.
I am moved to share this message. Last week we said goodbye to an extended family member at Maher & Maher.
Luke Bautista, son of our long-time associate – Chris Bautista – suffered a tragic accident. A young man (age 15), Luke was described as fun, smart, a prankster (“actually a bit twisted” according to his Dad), always smiling and supportive of others. He sounds like a young man of many gifts who surely left us way too soon.
I got back from travel in time to attend Luke’s service. It was, as you might imagine, a solemn affair, but incredibly well-attended. One could feel the support and love flowing from those in attendance for Luke’s Mom, Dad and older brother (and best-friend), CJ. I was so pleased to see so many of Chris’ Maher colleagues in attendance,… Read more →
The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) presents a tremendous opportunity to create and deepen partnerships that will advance the prosperity of regions. The foundation for this work is strong industry sector partnerships that bring together employers, education and training entities, workforce agencies, community organizations and other stakeholders to align training with the skills needed for an industry to expand and compete in the global economy.
To support this work, the Employment and Training Administration's 2nd Annual Sector Strategies Virtual Institute kicked off May 16th, offering a multitude of learning and peer-to-peer knowledge building opportunities to those just beginning to build industry sector partnerships, as well as those further along in sectors work.
The event opened with a highly engaging Plenary featuring Deputy Assistant Secretary Eric Seleznow who welcomed workforce development leaders from across the country as they discussed the advancements they&rsquo… Read more →
Last week’s “Responding Rapidly” Summit in Harrisburg, PA gave us the opportunity to think through the future of Rapid Response with a high-energy group of professionals throughout ETA’s Region 2 states – and it was a conversation that may need to happen across the Nation’s Workforce Development System.
Working with our V.P. of Workforce Innovation, Beth Brinly, and about 110 Rapid Responders from Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia, I was able – for the first time really – to think through the future of this critical program as it might function in a post-WIOA world.
Fortunately, in many areas, Rapid Response is not as overwhelmed as it once was with large scale dislocations. During the Great Recession and for years in its wake, Rapid Responders were very busy responding to events – meeting with businesses… Read more →
Last week, my colleague Lynn Bajorek and I were in Springfield, Illinois, to facilitate a strategic planning session with the leadership team of the Office of Employment and Training (OET) at the Illinois Department of Commerce.
Over the last several months we’ve been working with OET on an internal change management effort which looks both internally to better understand its assets, challenges and opportunities and externally to understand how OET can leverage and partner better within its entire workforce development system. The end result will be a "Blueprint" that fully aligns OET’s assets and resources with a clearly articulated vision, mission, and set of goals.
The OET strategic planning meeting was held in the historic Vachel Lindsay Home in Springfield.
Last week,… Read more →
Today we are launching “Leading Change While Implementing Innovation” – ETA’s First Massive Open Online Classroom (MOOC) offering! I’m so pleased to be able to work with a selected group of ETA grantees as the instructor and look forward to some great learning over the five-week course.
The MOOC format – a 100% online learning format where content is available to learners 24x7, whenever schedules allow – uses a new learning format called a “flipped classroom.” This format has participants learn as much from interacting with each other as they do from the instructor. Each week will begin with a short lecture and will then continue through self-assessments, online discussions with peers and an occasional article, video or self-check quiz.
In this MOOC format (actually it's a SPOC – “Small Private Online Classroom” for this… Read more →
2016 marks the largest employer turnout for the East Coast National Return Peace Corps Volunteer Career Fair with 500 participants! Maher attended this event on April 7th in interest and support in hiring RPCVs. Matt Musante and Sara Melton attended this event and spoke with many RPCVs on Maher practices and opportunities where Peace Corps experience can be utilized to its fullest.
Maher recognizes the benefits in recruiting talented RPCVs offering high skills, diversity, and adaptability. Maher currently has two RPCV team members, Jonathan Payne and Sara Melton. Jonathan served in Panama as an Agri-Business Coordinator where he provided high-level technical assistance on agri-business principals at the national and local level. Sara served in Cape Verde as an Environmental and Small Enterprise Developer working with the Ministry of Agriculture and municipal government.
We thank Peace Corps for the opportunity to meet with… Read more →
Last week, seven members of the Maher team spent two full days at Midlands Technical College in West Columbia, South Carolina to support South Carolina’s Sector Strategies Regional Planning Institute. The Institute was one important part of the state’s larger Talent Pipeline Project, an effort convened by our client, the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW), and jointly supported by DEW’s partners, the South Carolina Department of Commerce, the South Carolina Technical College System, and the South Carolina State Department of Education.
We have been partnering with South Carolina state leaders to support and facilitate the development and implementation of regional workforce planning and sector strategies since the spring of 2015. Leading up to the March Institute, we provided in-depth data analysis assistance to help the state identify statewide target industry sectors; assisted in the formation of… Read more →