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Latest Thinking

New Leadership for Our State and Regional Practice at Maher & Maher

Our team at Maher & Maher has helped many organizations successfully manage and thrive in the midst of change. We know that every organization has moments of transition, including us! Today we announce a change to the leadership in Maher & Maher’s State and Regional Workforce Solutions practice. Over the past fifteen years, many of our clients have worked with Arnie Richter, outgoing Director of that practice, on State and Regional projects and on Federal Practice projects. Arnie has been there almost from the beginning of our Federal Practice, helping to build a strong foundation before moving on to focus on state and regional work. After a number of years of sharing his passion and energy with our clients on a full-time basis, Arnie has decided that the time has come to reduce his hours while still contributing to the work he loves. He will be continuing… Read more →

Free Webinar: Making Sector Strategies Real and Using your NEG to Help you Get There

Are you struggling with Planning Your NEG Sector Partnership Strategy?

Join us for a free webinar on Thursday, September 10, called WIOA Planning Through Sectors. This webinar is designed to give you the information you need to make your regional planning and sector partnership strategies a success, using your NEG Sector Partnership grant to help.

   Date: Thursday, September 10

Time: 11am-12pm ET

This session will be recorded, so even if you can't attend live be sure to register so you receive the link to the recording.

Maher & Maher is the primary provider of Federal technical assistance in Sector Strategies and WIOA Implementation through ETA, and has been deeply involved in sector and related planning work at the state and regional levels for 10 years. 

Register now for this … Read more →

Arkansas Gets WIOA-Quick Start: Statewide Conference Offers On-Ramp to WIOA Success

Last week I had the honor of working with nearly 500 professionals from across a broad array of partners in Little Rock, Arkansas in the state’s first, wide-scale planning meeting for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). We were packed into every square inch of our hotel space – a challenge for our team of facilitators. Importantly, our job was made easier by the willingness of those present to "dive in" to the serious business of implementing the new law.

The audience included all the usual attendees – Board members, WIA and Wagner-Peyser staff, community colleges and CBOs – but also a strong showing from "new" WIOA partners in Rehabilitation Services, TANF, Registered Apprenticeship and more.

It was my job to convey the essential elements of the new legislation, give folks an overview of how the Law would change the way we do… Read more →

WIOA Quick Start Action Planners Launched: A New Tool to Help in Effective Implementation

As part of our support of ETA’s Technical Assistance initiative in support of the implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), we are designing a series of web-based tools that can help state and local leaders prepare for the new law. The WIOA Quick Start Action Planners (QSAPs) are web-based self-assessments designed to help state and local leaders identify areas of strength and challenges as they prepare their workforce systems for the implementation of WIOA. ETA will be releasing QSAPs on priority topics, including Leadership and Governance, Partnerships, One-Stop Service Delivery, and Youth Service Strategies. Once users obtain their results, they will be directed to helpful resources as well a WIOA Action Plan to help them take action where necessary. The first of the series has been released as is available here (link). “The concept of a “quick-start” planning tool – a… Read more →

Integrated Services Under WIOA: SETA Leaders Explore Integration, Sectors & Value-based Services

Recently, in a well-attended conference at the Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center in Greensboro, North Carolina, I joined leaders from the Southeastern states (and a few seven-footers who invaded the place for the AACC Conference basketball championship) at the SETA Conference. As one might imagine, workshop sessions explored every facet of the new Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and folks gathered from far and wide to learn about the changes and opportunities its implementation represents.

I was asked to prepare an important workshop: “One Stop Program Integration and Service Alignment to Support WIOA,” which drew a standing-room-only crowd.

Integration is a “holy grail” that many of us veterans of the workforce system have been pursuing since the passage of the Workforce Investment Act in the nineties. It has been an elusive goal for many – held hostage to a complex… Read more →

Social Learning in a Corporate Environment

At a recent team meeting it was exciting to hear how social learning was at play.  From peer-to-peer sharing in support of a client’s Lean implementation, to sales representatives partaking in strategic planning best practices in a virtual classroom session, to a project team collaborating on process improvements in the development of a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), the value of social learning was front and center.

Social learning is not a new concept in the business community – we work in teams, seek out peers for guidance and information, engage in collaborative problem-solving, and learn together in classes. Leveraging the knowledge capital of employees by sharing information and expertise in the workplace is a proven business practice with a long history.  Whether through informal mentoring or a simple water-cooler chat, social learning is a powerful process that connects employees with subject matter… Read more →

State and Federal Leaders Move WIOA Forward: Re-capping the NASWA Winter Policy Forum

Last week it was an honor to emcee NASWA’s Winter Policy Forum in Washington, D.C. Despite the threatening winter weather (that caused my train to “freeze” and made me drive to D.C.), about 150 leaders from states across the nation came together to tackle the special challenges involved in preparing to implement the Workforce System’s new law.

Panels of experts, including an opening plenary featuring leaders from key federal partner agencies planning for implementation, came together in robust discussions with those gathered around key issues in the law. One panel explored disconnected youth and long-term unemployed. Another focused on building partnerships that are so critical to reaching the potential of this new legislation. Still another featured states that have already been working to bring partners together and formulate key changes in policy and process that will be the backbone of… Read more →

Customers on the Move: Maher Client named a “Top 20” Leader in Atlanta!

We love it when our clients get recognized for leadership and innovation – particularly when they are committed to the type of transformational change we’re advocating in the Nation’s workforce development system.

Our report to the City of Atlanta was a critical look at the City’s workforce agency coupled with a hard-hitting set of recommendations designed to transform its performance. The Atlanta Workforce Development Agency( AWDA) needed to re-invent itself as part of a collaborative – working with area economic development, education and five regional workforce boards – to begin to create a talent supply chain to drive the City’s economic prosperity and build family-sustaining career opportunities for its citizens.


Enter Michael Sterling. Appointed by Mayor Kasim Reed to lead the Agency’s revival, Mike was a staunch supporter of the vision for… Read more →

Recalling Your Past Can Drive a Better 2015

Winston Churchill is often misquoted as having said, “They who do not know history are destined to repeat it,” The original quote, however, is credited to Edmund Burke (1729-1797). Regardless of the source, we have come to use this thought to warn ourselves of the need to learn from the past and avoid repeating our past failures. In fact, the lessons of history – from both our successes and our failures – can drive improved performance and results in our futures.

The dawn of a New Year is a perfect time to address past success as a source for driving future ones. I use this “remembering when” activity to recall lessons of the past that you may want to try for yourself in your team or organization: Gather the entire team with only a single piece of paper and a pen and a… Read more →

2014 Year End Message

As the end of another (our 28th) year comes into focus, we seem to have a great deal to be thankful for here at Maher & Maher. Our business has expanded, we have new customers that have entrusted us with incredibly important and challenging assignments, we have some outstanding new associates and employees, and we have tremendous opportunities ahead of us in the New Year.

Our mission as talent development investment advisors to clients in the public and private sectors has never been more relevant, as the world begins to accept what we have always known – that talent is the new, global currency, and that organizations and communities with the most skilled workforces will win in the globally competitive economy of the 21st century.

So, as we all begin to make final preparations to enjoy time with family and friends, we pause in gratitude… Read more →

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