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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 →

Creating a Culture of Continuous Improvement

Are work simplification and continuous improvement on your organization’s radar?  They should be. 

According to the 2015 Human Capital Trends Report produced by Deloitte University Press, “Organizations are simplifying work in response to employees becoming overwhelmed by increasing organizational complexity, growing information overload, and a stressful 24/7 work environment.”  Deloitte goes on to note that, “More than 7 out of 10 surveyed organizations rated the need to simplify work as an “important problem,” with more than 25 percent citing it as “very important.”[1]

Organizations are striving to perform, innovate, and compete, all while providing work-life balance for employees. Add to that advances in technology, a globalized economy, and compliance needs, and we realize a vast complexity in our world of work. Left unaddressed, the challenges of a  highly demanding environment result in a workforce that is disengaged,… 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 →

Maher & Maher Goes to the White House!

Washington, D.C.: The Maher Team recently visited the White House in support of our clients at ApprenticeshipUSA.

The recent White House Summit on ApprenticeshipUSA was a capstone event following this Summer’s launch of the Sectors of Excellence in Apprenticeship (SEA) initiative. Part of President Obama’s call to double the number of the Nation’s apprentices by 2020, SEA brought together leaders from six key industry sectors – Construction, Information Technology, Advanced Manufacturing, Energy, Healthcare and Logistics/Transportation – in regional meetings around the U.S. These SEA events saw industry leaders and leaders from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship come together, brainstorm actions and make commitments to advance the application of apprenticeship in meeting the Nation’s talent needs today and tomorrow.

“The SEA events were great,” said Amy Young, Maher… Read more →

Webinar Recap: Making Sector Strategies Real

On September 10, 2015, Maher & Maher hosted a webinar designed to help state workforce development agencies leverage their Sector Partnership National Emergency Grant award to achieve their talent development goals. We covered topics including the vision for industry sector-focused talent pipeline development, characteristics of high-performing sector strategies, critical success factors, and the planning process for creating, implementing and sustaining sector-based regional planning. One of the main reasons for creating this webinar is to provide an overview of information helpful to grantees as they engage in planning to create or enhance sector partnerships.

When tied closely to the passage of WIOA and the adoption of sector strategies, regional workforce planning, integrated service delivery, and enhanced use of data to drive planning and service delivery, the SP NEG program offers an opportunity to enhance alignment among workforce development, economic development and educational goals and strategies.

Aligning public partners… Read more →

What it looks like when done well: Sector Strategies at the Service Delivery Level

In many parts of the country, local Boards and their partners have integrated an industry sector focus as a key driver of their partnership development work, their strategic planning and policy efforts, and their structure for business service delivery. Integrating a sector focus as a key driver of service delivery for job seekers and workers, however, is less common. Applying sector strategies to career center service planning and delivery for these customers transforms the service experience and has been shown to improve outcomes for job seekers, workers, and business alike. Absent this focus, services for job seekers and workers may not be tied to career opportunities and career pathways in target industry sectors.

What would a sector-focused service delivery experience look and “feel” like to a job seeker or worker customer? When done right, career center organization, partnerships, customer flow, and service planning and delivery… Read more →

Welcome to WIOA: Easy Intro to Sector Strategies, Sector Partnerships, and Career Pathways

In today’s economy, making sure that the skills of the available workforce meet the needs of local industry is crucial. By developing career pathways for workers that are aligned with the needs of industry, people can become and remain employed, industry grows, and the overall regional and national economies benefit.

That’s where Sector Planning comes in, and it all starts with focused, active partnerships between businesses and those engaged in workforce development. These “Sector Partnerships” are defined as:

“Focused, active partnerships among businesses in a target industry sector and workforce development organizations, educators, training providers, labor unions, community organizations, and other key stakeholders”

Working together, these collaborations identify industry needs for workers with specific skills, education, and credentials, and then make sure that educational and training opportunities are available to help people… Read more →