There is no better way to get to know the human capital priorities and needs of businesses than to talk directly with business leaders themselves! And, that is just what the U.S. Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) did. Commissioner Janet La Breck enlisted Maher & Maher and our partner, New Editions Inc., to identify high demand and rapidly changing industries and to reach out to key leaders for their involvement in a series of highly successful Business Roundtables. This effort was driven by the 2014 enactment of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) which established a new expectation for RSA and State Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies (VR) in working more closely and effectively with the business community. Ultimately, the Commissioner’s goal for the Business Roundtables was to garner business input for the purpose of informing the technical assistance (TA) RSA delivers to VR, as the system evolves to meet business needs and best help individuals with disabilities gain employment and careers.
To meet this tall order, over the last 6 months, the four Business Roundtables drew in business leaders and industry representatives from across the county. With Maher’s extensive involvement in advancing Sector Strategies nationwide, and our support for the Department of Labor’s Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities (ACICIEID), we were able to tap our business contacts in the four selected industry sectors: Federal Contracting, Healthcare, Banking and Finance, and Information Technology, and invite Presidents and Vice Presidents, CEOs, HR Directors, and other executives to the table.
These fruitful conversations between RSA and business leaders generated a wealth of understanding on both sides, and elevated both the challenges and questions businesses have in recruiting, hiring, training, and supporting workers with disabilities. Maher staff attended each Roundtable, carefully documenting the discussions and supporting RSA in organizing their thoughts around next steps. We look forward to being there to continue support for the effort as RSA solidifies it’s plans for TA and business engagement in the months ahead!
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.