To be good at workforce development is to be good with people. Good with the employers and business people shaping the landscape of jobs, and good with the individuals that walk in our American Job Centers each day looking for work and better opportunities. Case managers are on the frontlines of this important work, and investing in their skills and professional development is a critical part of ensuring that American Job Centers (AJCs) bring value to their communities.
If you’re looking for new professional development resources for your case managers, look no further than Case Counselor Training: Four Indicators of Effective Service Delivery, a training we developed with Jobs for the Future and ETA’s Region 1 team. The training is organized around four key skill areas:Writing Effective Case Notes – Case managers learn how to capture and record valuable notes… Read more →
For the past three years, Maher & Maher (Maher) has partnered with United States Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration’s (ETA) Office of Regional Management and six ETA Regional Offices to implement over 150 technical assistance projects in 34 states around the country. Financed through Federal Technical Assistance and Training funds, the projects built the capacity of states and regions to provide innovative, effective and customer-centered workforce service design and delivery. Projects included:Intensive consulting around sector strategies and high-impact State and Local Workforce Boards; Development of various training curricula around topics such as effective monitoring, case management and soft skills for job seekers; Delivery of workshops on various topics, including service integration, strategic board training, sectors 101, career pathways, creating a customer centered one-stop, youth program design, and partnerships; and A Customer Centered Design Challenge that brought together local teams to tackle system challenges through… Read more →
Technical assistance is an invaluable tool to help workforce and education organizations learn how to improve systems. But it can sometimes be a passive process. Attend a webinar, a few meetings, read a couple of best practice case studies, and then call it a day. Frequently, the topic is determined by the sponsoring organization providing technical assistance, and for clarity’s sake, it often focuses on just one issue. We’re often looking for the “right” solution for a single problem. But the real work done in the field is more intricate, more interrelated, and may not fit into a one-size-fits-all approach.
Maher is refining a new model that makes the process more engaging and interactive. Cohort technical assistance brings together peers for collaborative learning and problem solving. Cohorts are designed to drill-down on a topic, combining “team time’” (within… Read more →
Doing more with less is all too familiar in the field of workforce development. Over time, funding levels have eroded or been eliminated altogether, requiring workforce professionals to be creative in devising ways to serve customers more efficiently and effectively. In fact, we at Maher & Maher advise our clients every day on strategies to leverage funding and align resources to save both time and money.
Behind the scenes, we take our own advice seriously, too. It’s what we call “connecting the dots.” Our technical assistance at the federal level combined with our work with states, regions, locals, and with private business clients allows us to generate a wealth of knowledge about the challenges our clients face in developing and delivering a talent pipeline. We experience firsthand what’s working and what’s not, and document the most effective practices being… Read more →
The team at Maher & Maher are experts at digging into complex policies and developing dynamic, digestible technical assistance (TA) and training for diverse audiences.
The US Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship (OA) has been focusing for the last couple of years on increasing diversity in apprenticeship programs, both in terms of the industries that use apprenticeship as a workforce development tool and the demographics of apprentices themselves. Maher is partnering with OA on that mission, creating TA for both national staff as well as for State-level grantees.
In December 2016, the regulations regarding Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) measures for apprenticeship programs were updated for the first time in nearly four decades. The previous EEO regulations for apprenticeship were published in 1978. Since that time, many aspects of the workplace have changed dramatically.… Read more →
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 →
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 →
With the House Appropriations Committee approving the FY 2018 Labor-HHS Ed Funding bill, we have yet another opportunity to consider how the public workforce system must evolve to meet the needs of its business and individual customers.
Some suggest that the focus lies solely with meeting the needs of the business customer. Others suggest we must invest in career pathways and position them as the core of the workforce delivery system. Then there are those who think technology should rule the day and that the physical American Job Center is becoming obsolete. No matter which school of thought you subscribe to, it is clear that our system must embrace change to remain relevant to our businesses, individual customers and our national, state and regional economies. We have been “tweaking” for nearly 20 years as federal budgets shrink to … Read more →
We are bombarded by information about America’s “skills gap.” Every day, news stories report the now infamous 6 million unfilled jobs in the country. At the same time, those of us engaged with the nation’s workforce development system struggle to help under-skilled job seekers work toward economic security and meaningful career paths.
Employers struggle too; they’re reassessing their entry level skill and educational requirements and their pay rates. They’re hoping to find a solution to vacancies that put stress on managers and cause existing staff to do “double-duty” to get the work done.
But production is not the only cost of the ongoing American Skills Gap, according to a recent survey by CareerBuilder. Their April, 2017 survey of over 2,300 employers and 3,400 workers tells a story of higher employee turnover, reduced staff morale, lower quality work… Read more →
Maher & Maher works hand-in-hand with our federal partners to implement strategic technical assistance strategies and innovative training solutions. One recent example – the American Job Center (AJC) Customer Flow Scenarios was produced under its Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Technical Assistance support contract with the Employment and Training Administration (ETA). Many states and local areas have expressed a need for tools that help AJCs coordinate staff and partners to work collaboratively across programs. This booklet features five illustrated stories (in graphic novel format) that represent scenarios of customer experiences and the guidance an AJC staff member might provide.
Sam has an undisclosed disability and needs guidance on reasonable accommodations and other rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act while returning to the labor force. Charles is an employer seeking guidance to hire and accommodate workers with disabilities and is seeking resources… Read more →