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.
Maher staff guided the scenario production and finished product. It was very much a collaborative effort working with a seventeen-person workgroup, comprised of subject matter experts from ETA national and regional offices, many of whom had previously worked in local once-stop centers as front-line staff and case managers. Staff from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Administration for Children and Families were also active participants. The work group chose five story lines to represent diverse situations that are encountered at AJCs across the country. Individual members then drafted scripts, reviewed drafts, provided feedback, and identified the relevant resources. AJC staff reviewed completed story boards for validation through regional offices.
The booklet is designed to be a training tool for AJC staff and partners. It also can potentially be shared with a customer who is reluctant to discuss their own story. The booklet and stories could be discussed at staff meetings, posted in public areas and linked as a resource on AJC and partner websites. AJC staff who reviewed early drafts returned their feedback with the following comments:
“The story/script is very useful to both new and more experienced staff and would be excellent tools for training and development."
“I would consider sharing this and other scripts with the right customer(s) to ask for input. It would be an effective conversation starter as the images and situations presented in this story/script are relatable in topic as well as environment."
Staff were excited by this “novel” approach to staff training and resource sharing. They also generated a long list of additional potential story topics. Using this innovative approach, your region could generate your own stories; establishing a process for capturing and documenting stories is not difficult. Scripts written without graphical support can be just as useful as a resource, training tool, or record of processes and practices.
Maher & Maher is a specialized change management and talent development consulting firm based in New Jersey and Washington, D.C. The firm is U.S. Department of Labor’s national technical assistance provider supporting the Employment and Training Administration’s implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and a number of other priority initiatives of the administration that advance and promote the public workforce system. Maher is also currently involved in a number of sector strategy, regional planning, organizational strategic planning and training initiatives in multiple state and regional areas. For more information about our services, visit our website or call us at 1-888-90-Maher.