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Posts By Richard Maher

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 →

NASWA Winter Policy Forum Explores WIOA: Change Is Hard. We Can Help.

Last week in Washington, D.C., we joined about 150 senior leaders from workforce development at the National Association of State Workforce Agencies’ (NASWA) 2016 Winter Policy Forum.

As you might imagine, this year’s event was chock full of updates and insights about the System’s looming implementation of the new Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), and several panels provided robust dialogue about how folks are tackling the challenge (and opportunity) of the new law.

Personal favorites for me included panels on day one that assembled leaders from professional associations representing all our key partners – from Vocational Rehabilitation, Vets and Human Services, and another that featured Congressional staffers focused on the original drafts of WIOA and on progress toward its successful implementation.

But, the Conference’s most dynamic session was its last – a lively round-table discussion that… Read more →

WIOA National Convening Brings Workforce Partners Together

Workforce leaders from around the U.S. and from all Federal Partners convened on the Washington, D.C. Hilton January 26th -28th for a two-and-a-half-day conference focused on efforts to implement the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), and the Maher & Maher team played a critical support role in the session’s success. Branded "One Team, One Vision, One Conversation," ETA joined with the National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA) to lead a rigorous discussion of the challenges and opportunities partner Agencies, state and locals face in bringing WIOA to life. As the technical assistance contractor to the ETA, Maher & Maher staff helped in formulating the agenda, identifying speakers and workshop facilitators and in supporting on-site logistics for the nearly 800 attendees.

“It wasn’t easy to make this happen seamlessly on the heels of a 2’ snowstorm over the weekend,… Read more →

Rick Maher’s Year-End Message

Dear Maher “Friends and Family:”

It seems like each year gets just a bit more hectic, more stressful and busy, as we all struggle to meet the challenges and opportunities of each new day. Yet, ‘tis the season to pause and reflect on the many blessings the past year has offered us all.

Here at Maher we have enjoyed a record year of success. We have grown our family substantially, as we scaled to meet new demand from an ever-expanding list of clients in government and in the private sector. Our projects have called upon us to expand our imaginations, and we have responded with increasingly innovative solutions that delight our clients and make me extremely proud of an incredibly talented and dedicated team.

So I wanted to take the opportunity to simply say thank you. Thank you to our… Read more →

Workforce that Works! Maher & Maher Attends the 2015 PA Workforce Board Development Symposium

As part of the “Workforce That Works!” Pennsylvania Workforce Board Development Symposium on December 8th, Maher & Maher provided focused discussions on methods to ensure that the implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (W.I.O.A.) is centered around the needs of jobseeker and employer customers. 

Christy Montgomery from the Maher & Maher team provided a plenary session on the role Customer Centered Design can play across workforce services to ensure that we are meeting client needs and creating positive outcomes.  This session was in conjunction with a presentation by Leo Miller, Regional Administrator of ETA’s Region 2 Philadelphia office, who encouraged the local boards in Pennsylvania to strive to be innovative as they embark on the changes of W.I.O.A.  Following Leo’s charge for innovative change, Christy covered key components of customer centered… Read more →

Planning for the Future: Maher & Maher Senior Staff Plans for 2016 and Beyond!

Maher & Maher is continuously working to provide the best service possible to our clients and share learnings across all of our areas of practice, in order to shape a strategy for growth. Last week the firm brought together key, senior staff members from all three of Maher & Maher’s professional practice areas at the Jersey Shore for some awesome views that complimented some serious discussions. We worked to identify growth opportunities as well as to address areas we want to improve as a Firm in 2016 and beyond.

“Although we were tucked away in a conference room for 12 or 13 hours, we took the time to enjoy the amazing scenes outside our window and to reflect on the work we have ahead as we strive to make our Firm the best it can be for customers and for ourselves,” said Rick Maher, the Firm… Read more →

Regional Planning for WIOA Implementation Started in Illinois

Springfield, IL: Members of Maher & Maher’s State and Regional Workforce Solutions Team recently traveled to Illinois’ capital city to initiate its third statewide, major project initiative in as many months. 

Leaders from throughout the state representing business, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the Illinois Community College and Higher Education Systems, the Governor’s Office and state and local workforce development boards all came together to begin the initiative focused on state, regional and local workforce development planning aligned around targeted growth sectors. The approach will help planners develop an economic data study to identify growth industry clusters and help regional and local leaders align around common targets to drive community prosperity.

“We intend to help Illinois’ leaders build a talent supply chain that will draw business to their state, and retain quality businesses here… Read more →

Kicking Off Statewide Sectors Initiative for Missouri

Jefferson City, MO: The Maher & Maher Team is working with leaders from Missouri’s workforce, economic development and educational systems to launch an initiative to deploy sector-based strategies throughout the state.

More than 35 executives from workforce, economic development and education joined business leaders in Jefferson City last week to review and endorse key project objectives, timelines and deliverables, and to prepare for a statewide Sectors Summit to kick-off implementation plans that will guide the critical deployment of this initiative.

“‘Sector Strategies’ is a key tenant in the Nation’s new Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), and, as such, will give Missouri’s state and local systems an important leg up on preparing for implementation of the new law,” said Richard D. Maher, the Firm’s President & CEO. “However, and to us more importantly,… Read more →

Speaking with One Voice: Using Consensus-Based Decision Making to Identify Target Industries

In an earlier article this month, we defined Sector Strategies and noted that they are “industry specific.” Though we did not go into the importance of this at the time, deciding on the industries that a region should focus on is a critical and foundational requirement to developing Sector Strategies. This is no easy task, as all stakeholders in this process have to be in agreement and willing to invest time and resources to further these industries. Here’s what it looks like when everyone is in agreement:

Employers in these industries are participating in conversations – ideally, within a structured Industry Partnership -- about their workforce and training needs. The local Workforce Investment Board is funding training and allocating resources targeted at occupations in these industries. The workforce system, educators, and employers are creating career pathways to build and sustain a talent pipeline for… Read more →

Maher & Maher Goes to SETA 2015 in Savannah

Savannah, GA.: The Maher Team had a busy week at SETA’s 2015 Conference in Savannah, Georgia in late September. A group of our consulting staff from our Federal Workforce Solutions Practice delivered a series of professional development workshops intended to help folks improve System performance and better prepare for the looming implementation of the Nation’s Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).

Led by Rick Maher, the Firm’s President and CEO, members of the Maher Team descended on Savannah with a purpose – to help engage attendees in a positive and engaging discussion of the new Act and how to best prepare for System change.

“I was proud of our Team. They were everywhere – running workshops, staging video shoots for training products and attending sessions themselves,” said Maher. “When we stop learning ourselves, we cannot be as… Read more →