We all know that strategic investments in the workforce system can change lives, help businesses survive and communities thrive. Recently, I was at the NCWorks Partnership conference in Greensboro, NC and heard a presentation from Jeanne Bond with the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. She put meat on the bones for me regarding the new Community Reinvestment Act funding opportunities for workforce development, and I thought I would pass along the information.
When I was working in Kentucky, both the Federal Reserve of St. Louis and Cleveland supported the Commonwealth and its communities’ workforce development efforts like sponsoring our Work Ready Communities Best Practices conference. In addition, local financial institutions were often members of state and local workforce boards. The good news, though, is that there are even more ways to leverage financial institutions in this work.
The Federal Reserve Banks of Dallas… Read more →
The Garden State Employment and Training Association (GSETA) invited us to present to their 35th Annual Workforce Development Conference, which included workforce development professionals and partners organizations from across New Jersey. I was excited to accept this opportunity to discuss how we can best reach successful sector strategy and WIOA outcomes through Apprenticeship and Work Based Learning in my home state.
Growing broad, bi-partisan support for Apprenticeship recognizes the critical import of bridging the skills gap in the modern workforce, and the clear ability of Apprenticeship programs to deliver outcomes. Case studies of a number of national efforts to expand apprenticeship offer clear evidence that while multiple variables may impact success, integrating sector strategy efforts with apprenticeship as a key implementation strategy produces improved outcomes for employers as well as job seekers.… Read more →
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 →
It is wonderful when regionalism comes together like it did with the six workforce development regions in Minnesota! In order to help stand up these newly formed regions, Minnesota asked Maher to partner with the regions to assess sector strategies implementation status in the context of Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The Maher team reviewed each regional plan and then identified and provided technical assistance over a three-month period.
Across the regions, several common technical assistance themes emerged:Advancing a regional approach to sector strategies that is strategic and systemic in nature; Building a common understanding and structure to support sector strategies and employer-led industry partnerships among local boards and partners; Creating an integrated approach to business services; Supporting and sustaining long-term sector partnership and employer relationships; and Developing performance metrics/benchmarks.
In response to these needs, Maher coaches worked with regions on a… 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 →
Maher & Maher is pleased to announce a new partnership with the Virginia Community College System and its workforce partners on the development of a Sector Strategy and Career Pathways Academy.
This effort builds upon a decade of work in the Commonwealth to align education and training programs in ways that makes it easier for individuals to access and complete pathways to family-supporting careers. By pairing together sector strategies and career pathways, this initiative hopes to improve the relevance and effectiveness of education and training programs, leading to more positive outcomes for individuals and businesses.
A primary emphasis will be on operationalizing these strategies in service delivery so that sector strategies and career pathways become the “way of conducting business” throughout Virginia’s workforce system. This is a transformational change endeavor for the entire system—from workforce board members, educational leaders,… Read more →
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 →