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Celebrate Labor this Labor Day!

A Day to Recognize ALL America’s Workers.

As we prepare for the holiday weekend, we here at Maher just wanted to pause briefly to recognize the contributions of American workers for the hard work, long hours and competitive spirit that have made this country “work” for over 2 centuries.

Historically, “Labor Day” had its roots in the labor movement and was created in order to celebrate the contributions of labor to the American economy, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s website exploring the history of the Day. On this special day we all celebrate the men and women who built America’s infrastructure, our dams, bridges and roadways, and we also recognize those who are building the information superhighway, securing our communities, caring for our elderly and youth, preparing our food and educating our young – all… Read more →

Tesla Partners for Talent Development

Public/Private Partnership Models Solution for the Skills Gap

We were so interested in this news from NY State and Tesla, announcing a new partnership with a Long Island college to train a future workforce. This is just one more example of employers taking new initiative in working with educational and governmental partners to tackle the skills gap proactively.

As importantly, this partnership with Tesla uses elements of a proven training model – apprenticeship – to be part of the solution. Students work while they learn through internships, and work toward the “high probability” of a full-time job upon graduation. Although this is not an apprenticeship program in the traditional sense, the solution “borrows” key elements from that oldest of all training models to make it work for Tesla and students as well.

Of particular note for us, is the potential… Read more →

Personalized Learning – the Future of Talent Development

We’ve known it for years; we’ve experienced it personally. “One size fits all” is dead. In his essay Death to the Mass, Jeff Jarvis develops an argument he has been making for years. Treating the public as “a mass” is no longer appropriate or effective. Google allows us to organize the entire web to answer a specific question or find a product. We choose what news we want to see, what programs, movies, or sports we watch when, and who appears first and frequently in our Facebook timeline.

Put simply – if the “mass media” is moving to “me media”– we wonder why corporate training too often seems to be clinging to a “one size fits all” learning model?

What if we could transform corporate training the way Jeff… Read more →

Maher Supports Futurist Thinking at NGA Joint Workforce Symposium

Wayne Gretzky, famed hockey player, is known for his saying “I skate to where the puck is going, not where it has been.”  Recently, the State of Oregon hosted the Joint Workforce Symposium in Portland, Oregon and the theme of the meeting was “Finding Pathways to Economic Vitality Through a Dynamic Future.” Maher & Maher was in the middle of the action by sponsoring one of the events for state workforce boards and liaisons that explored the implication of artificial intelligence and drones on our sector and job development work with businesses and individual customers.  This interactive session not only fostered stimulating conversation about how to position the system to remain relevant in this technologically evolving work environment, it also provided participants with a hands-on experience with drones.

During the session leading up to our event, Vivek Wadhwa (Distinguished Fellow, Carnegie… Read more →

The Role of Business in Closing the American Skills Gap

The skills gap in America offers an opportunity for the private and public sector to merge their missions and develop true partnerships. The skills gap may be one reason why, since 2004, U.S. worker productivity has been expanding at its slowest rate in the post-war era.  This ominous gap is a key focus for Maher as we partner with our clients to create talent development solutions to up-skill workers. It’s also top of mind as we provide technical assistance to workforce systems challenged with helping job seekers advance their skills to achieve economic security and a meaningful career path. 

For our two worlds (private and public) to share common challenges is not new.  However, the pain associated with this specific challenge goes deep for both private and public entities.

The skills gap is a real and growing challenge – and… Read more →

Stockholder Development in the First State

During a Delaware Workforce Development Board (DWDB) meeting in 2017, Region 2 ETA Administrator Leo Miller issued a challenge to the DWDB to truly seize the opportunity in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act in order to reimagine the workforce development system in the First State. The Chair of the DWDB, Gary Stockbridge, accepted that challenge right then and there and refocused the meeting and the trajectory of the workforce system in Delaware. As a result of this transformational meeting, Delaware partnered with Maher & Maher in 2017 to retool its strategic planning process.  

The first endeavor we undertook was to broaden the engagement of partners in the development of the strategic plan, as well as to align the DWDB’s planning activities with key initiatives underway among workforce system partners. The Board’s Steering Committee utilized a highly interactive Board Retreat that not only included… Read more →

The Countdown to August 21, 2017

Over a year ago, I started reading articles on a rare solar eclipse that was going to occur across the United States. It was billed as a must-see event by astronomers, and by the luck of it, it would pass close to where we live.

It would be the “first to sweep across the entire country since 1918.” 

What is a solar eclipse?

This video answers common questions people have about it.

So, we started investigating options...

You can go to Oregon, spend the night in Nashville, even stay in Hopkinsville, Kentucky and enjoy the Little Green Men Festival along with your eclipse experience. Then we realized the kids would be back in school (major buzz kill). So, our location area had to narrow. We wanted to stay within a few hours’ drive and still experience the path… Read more →

Distilling Federal Regulations into Successful Technical Assistance

Change is the one constant in the national workforce system. Whether a government agency is issuing new regulations or stripping down existing ones, our challenge is to help practitioners comply with new requirements and continue their commitment to customer-centered design and transformational change.

With any policy, buy-in at all levels is vital to full implementation, which is why the Maher team takes a holistic approach. We work closely with our clients to gain a deep understanding of regulatory changes while maintaining the broader vision for the workforce system. For more than 20 years, Maher has played the role of change agent, helping to streamline the implementation of and reduce confusion around several federal regulations such as the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and updated Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) regulations for apprenticeship for our clients at the US Department of Labor (USDOL). We have done the same kind… Read more →

Your Skills, Your Future: TN Chamber Partners to Address Manufacturing Skills Gap

Many times, workforce system leaders look to economic projections to find growing occupations and industries so they can best target limited resources at sectors that are expanding and offer family-sustaining careers. Of course, that is as it should be.

Sometimes we can miss, however, real opportunities for great jobs in sectors that may not be among the fastest growing, but which present opportunity due to their “greying workforces.”

We found this great site – Your Skills, Your Future – that the Cleveland, Tennessee Chamber of Commerce has launched in partnership with private sector partners, to educate students, parents and job seekers in careers in manufacturing. We like the work, so we thought we’d share.

Here’s some of what they get right. They talk directly to the worker, in plain language and using terms that resonate with job… Read more →

Community Collaboration an Economic Imperative

Recently, I was in Kansas doing State and Local Strategic Board training with my colleague, Terri Lonowski. During the training session, we watched a senior manager overseeing global executive development and diversity for a major firm have an epiphany about how his company needed to embrace talent acquisition and development within a supply chain management relationship framework. His “AHA” moment transformed the dynamics in the room and the very nature of the conversation moving forward. This business representative then wanted to apply the sound practices associated with supply chain management to the workforce development system. He is certainly not the first business person to make that connection, as evidenced by the US Chamber Foundation’s recent work in this area in collaboration with state and local workforce development systems.

The challenge before us is whether the economic development, workforce development and education partners, along… Read more →