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The Future of Rapid Response: Maher Presents a new Future Orientation at ETA Region 2 Summit

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 →

Change Management Effort Underway at the Illinois Office of Employment and Training

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 →

Change Leadership MOOC Premieres Today!

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 →

National Return Peace Corps Volunteer Career Fair

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 →

Maher & Maher Team Supports South Carolina’s Sector Strategies Regional Planning Institute

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 →

Apprenticeship:  America’s Next Talent Development Solution

In 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) launched ApprenticeshipUSA – a national movement to adopt apprenticeship as a talent development solution for our nation’s businesses and meet the President’s goal to double the number of apprentices in the United States over five years.  Apprenticeship is a proven model, combining on-the-job training with related education, which provides career pathways for workers and a highly-skilled workforce for businesses.

Continuing the ApprenticeshipUSA movement this year, USDOL has asked for Maher & Maher’s support with a series of events for targeted industry sectors.  While apprenticeship originally was used in construction and manufacturing, the modern apprenticeship model can work for any business and is increasingly being used in diverse industries, from healthcare to transportation to information technology.  These “ApprenticeshipUSA Accelerator” events will bring together businesses and other industry stakeholders,… Read more →

Maher & Maher and USDOL/ETA’s Dallas Regional Office Provide Arkansas Training

On March 8-9, 2016 Maher & Maher, in conjunction with USDOL/ETA's Dallas Regional Office, provided in-person training for Arkansas State and local workforce system staff on effective fiscal and programmatic monitoring.  In addition to the core curriculum, the training also included tailored components for State staff and Local Area Directors.  Trainers included Lynn Bajorek, John Riggs and Jennifer Pirtle from Maher & Maher.

Learning objectives for the training included:

Increased understanding of the requirements and benefits of monitoring, the various monitoring roles and responsibilities at the Federal, State and Local levels and the key monitoring activities required to drive compliance and effectiveness. Improved State and Local staff capacity to plan and perform monitoring activities. Expanded awareness and understanding of common monitoring issues/findings including causes and potential resolutions.

The format for the training was highly interactive and included small and full group… Read more →

Maher’s New “Mini-MOOC” Pioneers New Learning Technology: USDOL/ETA’s First Trial Starts in April!

As the nation’s workforce development system strives to change to meet the needs of a dynamically shifting US economy and the requirements of the new Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), Maher & Maher has been working with our clients at the Employment and Training Administration’s (ETA) Office of Workforce Investment to keep pace with the change. The result? The agency’s first-ever Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) will premier this month – inviting select workforce professionals to engage with this exciting new learning format for the first time.

A MOOC is an online, interactive learning platform designed to “flip the classroom” and foster learning that is powered by the learning community itself and guided by (but not controlled by) an instructor. Learning is delivered online, 24x7, so it fits with today’s busy work schedules, and allows diverse… Read more →

Rick Maher Presents a Workshop at SETA

Today at SETA's Southeastern Employment and Training Conference, Rick Maher, Paulette Francois and Beth Brinly collaborated to bring a packed audience an interactive and hands-on workshop to drive improved integration of service delivery in One Stops. The session combined lecture with team-based activities that allowed participants to brainstorm and prototype possible solutions to service delivery challenges.

"We wanted people to experience how Customer Centered Design (CCD) could be used to engage core partner staff in customer-focused improvements in how we deliver services in American Job Centers," said Maher. "We gave them the basics of the CCD process, modeled what it looks like when done well, and then had folks dive in themselves. It turned out really well as groups expressed being energized by the experience. The goal was to give them a form of a roadmap to use when they leave here, and I think we… Read more →

Maher Team Supports Statewide WIOA Regional Planning Conference in Illinois

This past week I was in Springfield, Illinois (the boyhood home of Abraham Lincoln) to help our client, the Illinois Department of Commerce and its core partners at the Illinois Community College Board, the Illinois Department of Employment Security, and the Illinois Department of Human Services host a statewide conference focused on the formation of WIOA regional plans and the deployment of Sector Strategies.

Teams from each of the state’s 10 economic regions were paired with a dedicated Maher facilitator and came together to author (or advance) regional plans that will guide the implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) across the state and across partner programs and agencies.

It is so exciting to participate in events such as this one. Our process for helping states work regionally is integrated with our “World-Class Sector Strategies” approach. We used it originally… Read more →

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